Abstract

Recall and language comprehension while processing sequences of words involves multiple semantic priming between several related and/or unrelated words. Accounting for multiple and interacting priming effects in terms of underlying neuronal structure and dynamics is a challenge for current models of semantic priming. Further elaboration of current models requires a quantifiable and reliable account of the simplest case of multiple priming resulting from two primes on a target. The meta-analytic approach offers a better understanding of the experimental data from studies on multiple priming regarding the additivity pattern of priming. The meta-analysis points to the effects of prime–target stimuli onset asynchronies on the pattern of underadditivity, overadditivity, or strict additivity of converging activation from multiple primes. The modeling approach is then constrained by results of the meta-analysis. We propose a model of a cortical network embedding spike frequency adaptation, which allows frequency and time-dependent modulation of neural activity. Model results give a comprehensive understanding of the meta-analysis results in terms of dynamics of neuron populations. They also give predictions regarding how stimuli intensities, association strength, and spike frequency adaptation influence multiple priming effects.

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