The developmental trend of transposed letters effects in masked priming

Lucia Colombo, Simone Sulpizio, Francesca Peressotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the current study, we investigated the development of transposed letter (TL) priming effects with masked priming. Recent studies have reported different and contrasting results concerning the age at which TL priming effects first appear and whether they tend to decline or increase with age. One of the aims of this study was to investigate the developmental trend of orthographic mechanisms underlying the TL effects in Italian. We tested three groups of children (second, third, and fifth graders) and a group of adults with a sandwich masked priming procedure, presenting lists of target words preceded by TL or replaced letter (RL) primes. TLs and RLs were either at the beginning (second–third letters) or the end (fourth–sixth letters) of primes in order to see whether the TL priming effect varied according to position in the letter string. We found that TL priming effects increased with age in both accuracy and latency. No effect of position was found. The results are discussed in light of a possible difference in the development of orthographic mechanisms depending on the transparency of the language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Masked priming
  • Orthography
  • Reading development
  • Transposed letters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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