|Abstract||Recent research on semantic priming has demonstrated that automatic and controlled priming processes alike are subject to attentional top-down control. Based on the assumption that fatigue diminishes attentional resources, the influence of fatigue on semantic and phonological priming was investigated in a lexical decision experiment.
Stimulus material comprised semantically and phonologically related prime-target pairs as well as unrelated pairs in the control condition. 50% of the targets were pseudowords. In order to discern between automatic and controlled processes, the stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) was varied (200 ms, 700 ms). Fatigue was induced by a sleepless night. 51 subjects participated in the study, 26 of which consented to being tested before (awake) and after a sleepless night (tired). The remaining 25 participants were tested only awake.
Semantic priming occurred at both the short and the long SOA, indicating a combination of automatic and controlled priming. At the short SOA, a phonological prime-target relationship slowed down responses (as compared to the unrelated control condition), demonstrating automatic negativ priming. This effect was short-lived. At the long SOA there was no indication of inhibition of facilitation.
However, no evidence was obtained that any of these processes was affected by fatigue. This leads to the conclusion that fatigue has no influence on priming.||dc.description.abstract