Skip to main content

More modeling but still no stages: Reply to Borowsky and Besner


Plaut DCD , Booth JRJames . Psychological Review. 2006 ; 133(1). 196-200


Plaut and Booth (see record 2000-02818-006) developed a distributed connectionist model of written word comprehension and evaluated it against empirical findings on individual and developmental differences in semantic priming in visual lexical decision. Borowsky and Besner (see record 2006-01885-012) raised a number of challenges for this model. First, the model was not shown to be capable of accurately distinguishing words from orthographically matched nonwords. Second, its use of a semantic measure for performing lexical decision appears inconsistent with evidence of normal lexical decision in brain-damaged patients with semantic impairments. Third, the explanation offered for additive and interactive effects in the model appears incompatible with certain aspects of existing empirical findings on the joint effects word frequency, priming context, and stimulus quality. In this reply, the authors demonstrate with additional modeling that none of these issues is problematic for the model.