Semantic priming in Broca's aphasics at a short SOA: No support for an automatic access deficit
Semantic priming in Broca's aphasics at a short SOA: No support for an automatic access deficit. Brain and Language, 56
, 287-300. doi:10.1006/brln.1997.1849.
This study tests the recent claim that Broca’s aphasics are impaired in automatic lexical access, including the retrieval of word meaning. Subjects are required to perform a lexical decision on visually presented prime target pairs. Half of the word targets are preceded by a related word, half by an unrelated word. Primes and targets are presented with a long stimulus-onset-asynchrony (SOA) of 1400 msec and with a short SOA of 300 msec. Normal priming effects are observed in Broca’s aphasics for both SOAs. This result is discussed in the context of the claim that Broca’s aphasics suffer from an impairment in the automatic access of lexical–semantic information. It is argued that none of the current priming studies provides evidence supporting this claim, since with short SOAs priming effects have been reliably obtained in Broca’s aphasics. The results are more compatible with the claim that in many Broca’s aphasics the functional locus of their comprehension deficit is at the level of postlexical integration processes.