Lexical priming, whereby a prime word facilitates recognition of a related target word (e.g., nurse ? doctor), is typically attributed to association strength, semantic similarity, or compound familiarity. Here, the authors demonstrate a novel type of lexical priming that occurs among unassociated, dissimilar, and unfamiliar concepts (e.g., horse ? doctor). Specifically, integrative priming occurs when a prime word can be easily integrated with a target word to create a unitary representation. Across several manipulations of timing (stimulus onset asynchrony) and list context (relatedness proportion), lexical decisions for the target word were facilitated when it could be integrated with the prime word. Moreover, integrative priming was dissociated from both associative priming and semantic priming but was comparable in terms of both prevalence (across participants) and magnitude (within participants). This observation of integrative priming challenges present models of lexical priming, such as spreading activation, distributed representation, expectancy, episodic retrieval, and compound cue models. The authors suggest that integrative priming may be explained by a role activation model of relational integration
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