Semantic predictability eliminates the transposed-letter effect

Steven G. Luke, Kiel Christianson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Semantic predictability facilitates word recognition during language processing. One possible explanation for this facilitation is that highly specific predictions generated online during language processing preactivate some features of upcoming words. To explore whether, how, and when these predictions affect visual word recognition, in the two experiments reported here we investigated the influence of semantic predictability on transposed-letter priming. In order to do so, a paradigm that combines self-paced word-by-word reading with masked priming was developed. Transposed-letter priming occurred in nonconstraining contexts but not in constraining contexts, indicating that readers use context to make predictions about both letter identity and position in upcoming words, and that these predictions have an early influence on visual word recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-641
Number of pages14
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


  • Lexical processing
  • Masked priming
  • Predictability
  • Prediction
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Reading
  • Transposed-letter priming
  • Visual word recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Medicine


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