Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > The Persistence of Priming


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

The Persistence of Priming: Exploring Long‐lasting Syntactic Priming Effects in Children and Adults

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article numbere13005
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Cognitive Science
Issue number6
Number of pages30
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date25/06/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The implicit learning account of syntactic priming proposes that the same mechanism underlies syntactic priming and language development, providing a link between a child and adult language processing. The present experiment tested predictions of this account by comparing the persistence of syntactic priming effects in children and adults. Four-year-olds and adults first described transitive events after hearing transitive primes, constituting an exposure phase that established priming effects for passives. The persistence of this priming effect was measured in a test phase as participants described further transitive events but no longer heard primes. Their production of passives was compared to a baseline group who described the same pictures without any exposure to primes. Neither immediate nor long-term priming effects differed between children and adults but both children and adults showed significant immediate and persistent effects of the priming when the test phase occurred immediately after the exposure phase and when a short delay separated the exposure and test phase. The implications of these results for an implicit learning account of syntactic priming are discussed.