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May, C. P., Kane, M. J., & Hasher, L. (1995). Determinants of negative priming. Psychological Bulletin, 118, 35-54.


The negative priming task is widely used to investigate attentional inhibition. A critical review of the negative priming literature considers various parameters of the task (e.g., time course, relation to interference, level of occurrence, and susceptibility to changes in task context). It also takes into account life span data and the performance of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. On these bases, the review suggests that negative priming can be produced by two mechanisms: memorial and inhibitory. With respect inhibition, the review suggest that (a) there are 2 systems, one responsible for identity and the other for location information; and (b) inhibition is a flexible, postselection process operating to prevent recently rejected information from quickly regaining access to effectors, thus helping to establish coherence among selected thought and action streams.

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