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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2005 Mar;31(2):306-21.

Examining the time course of indexical specificity effects in spoken word recognition.

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Department of Psychology and the Center for Cognitive Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA.


Variability in talker identity and speaking rate, commonly referred to as indexical variation, has demonstrable effects on the speed and accuracy of spoken word recognition. The present study examines the time course of indexical specificity effects to evaluate the hypothesis that such effects occur relatively late in the perceptual processing of spoken words. In 3 long-term repetition priming experiments, the authors examined reaction times to targets that were primed by stimuli that matched or mismatched on the indexical variable of interest (either talker identity or speaking rate). Each experiment was designed to manipulate the speed with which participants processed the stimuli. The results demonstrate that indexical variability affects participants' perception of spoken words only when processing is relatively slow and effortful.

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