Semantic priming in the naming of objects and famous faces

Damian, M. F., & Abdel Rahman, R. (2003). Semantic priming in the naming of objects and famous faces. British Journal of Psychology, 94(4), 517-527.
Researchers interested in face processing have recently debated whether access to the name of a known person occurs in parallel with retrieval of semantic-biographical codes, rather than in a sequential fashion. Recently, Schweinberger, Burton, and Kelly (2001) took a failure to obtain a semantic context effect in a manual syllable judgment task on names of famous faces as support for this position. In two experiments, we compared the effects of visually presented categorically related prime words with either objects (e.g. prime: animal; target: dog) or faces of celebrities (e.g. prime: actor; target: Bruce Willis) as targets. Targets were either manually categorized with regard to the number of syllables (as in Schweinberger et al.), or they were overtly named. For neither objects nor faces was semantic priming obtained in syllable decisions; crucially, however, priming was obtained when objects and faces were overtly named. These results suggest that both face and object naming are susceptible to semantic context effects
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