Repetition priming in simple addition depends on surface form and typicality

Sonia C. Sciama, Carlo Semenza, Brian Butterworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Repetition priming and recognition memory for numbers were measured in four experiments using single-digit addition. Results of the first two experiments indicate that when numbers were presented as number words and dot configurations, preexposure of the same problem in the same notation produced greater reaction-time benefit than did preexposure of the same problem in Arabic-digit notation. In contrast, when numbers were presented as Arabic digits, preexposure of the same problem in Arabic digit, number word, and dot notation produced the same amount of priming. In the third experiment, priming was shown to be greatest, for all three notations, when the task performed on preexposure trials (addition or multiplication) matched the task performed on repetition trials (addition). Results of the fourth experiment, measuring recognition memory, were comparable to the priming results in the sense that memory was superior when notation matched across repetitions if the test involved number words and dot configurations but not Arabic digits. These data are interpreted in terms of models of numerical cognition, and they support the hypothesis that the influence of surface form on repetition priming depends on the typicality of the input for the task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-127
Number of pages12
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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