Preserved semantic priming effect in alexia

Masaru Mimura, Harold Goodglass, William Milberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


BH, a left-handed patient with alexia and nonfluent aphasia, was presented with a lexical-decision task in which words and pronounceable pseudowords were preceded by semantically related or unrelated picture primes (Experiment I). In Experiment 2. BH was given an explicit reading task using the word lists from Experiment I. Performance on Experiment 2 disclosed severe reading deficits in both oral reading and semantic matching of the words to pictures. However, in Experiment I, BH demonstrated a significant semantic priming effect, responding more accurately and more quickly to words preceded by related primes than by unrelated primes. The present results suggest that even in a patient with severe alexia, implicit access to semantic information can be preserved in the absence of explicit identification. The possibility of categorical gradient in implicit activation (living vs. nonliving) in BH was also discussed, which, however, needs to be clarified in the further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-446
Number of pages13
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Sept
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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