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We present a novel subliminal priming technique that operates in the auditory modality. Masking is achieved by hiding a spoken word within a stream of time-compressed speechlike sounds with similar spectral characteristics. Participants were unable to consciously identify the hidden words, yet reliable repetition priming was found. This effect was unaffected by a change in the speaker's voice and remained restricted to lexical processing. The results show that the speech modality, like the written modality, involves the automatic extraction of abstract word-form representations that do not include nonlinguistic details. In both cases, priming operates at the level of discrete and abstract lexical entries and is little influenced by overlap inform or semantics.
Psychological Science © 2005 Association for Psychological Science