We examined the orthographic and phonological computation of words and nonwords focusing on the pseudohomophone test in masked presentations. The priming manipulation consisted of gradually increasing or decreasing the orthographic and phonological similarity between the primes and the targets. We employed a psychophysical approach, presenting subjects with a large number of trials, while varying the parameters of exposure duration and luminance. The results suggest that phonological priming effects for brief exposure durations are robust, not fragile, and can be demonstrated for words as well as for nonwords. Moreover, the effects are not restricted to a narrow window of energy, but are revealed across a wide range of SOAs and luminance conditions. However, since the computed phonological code is initially coarse-grained, substantial phonological contrasts are required to obtain phonological effects under masked presentation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported in part by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant HD-01994. We wish to thank four helpful anonymous reviewers for their significant contribution to our manuscript.