No Influence of Masked Priming on the Multiplication Fact Retrieval in a Result Verification Task


  • Daniele Didino
  • Matthias Brandtner
  • André Knops


In three experiments, we used a masked prime in a verification task to investigate the processing stages occurring during multiplication fact retrieval. We aimed to investigate the retrieval process by overlapping its execution with the processing of a masked prime consisting of a number. Participants evaluated the correctness of multiplication equations, where the result was preceded by a masked prime (presented for 30 ms, with different stimulus onset asynchrony between the operands and the prime). Decade consistency and relatedness of the prime were manipulated. For example, given the equation 4 x 7 = 28, the prime could be: a neighbor either decade consistent (24) or inconsistent (32), or an unrelated number either decade consistent (23) or inconsistent (31). We expected that the feature of the prime (relatedness or decade consistency) that generates interference depends on the processing stage reached when the prime is processed. Although Experiment 1 showed promising results, Experiments 2 and 3 suggest that the pattern found in Experiment 1 was a false positive. Overall, the paradigm used in this study (i.e., masked prime with a verification ask) does not seem to produce a stable interference during the retrieval process.