Hierarchical spreading of activation

Sharifian, F. and Samani, R. (1997) Hierarchical spreading of activation. [Book Chapter]

Full text available as:



The present study investigated, within the framework of spreading activation model, whether or not nodes are activated in a hierarchical fashion in the memory network. If, for example, activation of plant spreads to flower and then to rose, subjects should take longer to detect the relation between plant and rose than that between either plant and flower or flower and rose. The results of an experiment conducted to test the above hypothesis showed a significant difference between subjects' RTs for the three kinds of word pairs. Appropriate post-hoc comparisons of the mean RTs supported the hypothesis of this study. That is, the time taken for subjects to detect the relation between pairs such as plant-rose was significantly greater than the time taken for them to detect the relation between the words in either plant-flower or flower-rose pair types.

Item Type:Book Chapter
Keywords:Network Models of Memory, Spreading Activation
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Psycholinguistics
ID Code:2061
Deposited By:Sharifian, Farzad
Deposited On:01 Feb 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Anderson, J. R. (1976). Language, memory and thought. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Anderson, J. R. (1983a). The architecture of cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Anderson, J. R. (1983b). A spreding activation theory of memory, Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 22,


Anderson, J. R. (1995). Cognitive psychology and its implications (4th ed.). New York: W. H. Freeman.

Balota, D. A. (1983). Automatic semantic activation and episodic memory encoding.Journal of Verbal Learning and

Verbal Behavior, 22, 88-104.

Balota, D. A., & Lorch, R. F.(1986). Depth of automatic spreading activation: Mediated priming effects in pronunciation but

not in lexical decision. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, Cognition, 12, 336-345.

Collins, A., and Quillian, M. (1969). Retrieval time from semantic memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal

Behavior, 8, 240-248.

de Groot, A. M. B. (1983). The range of automatic spreading activation in word priming. Journal of Verbal Learning and

Verbal Behavior, 22, 417- 436.

Loftus, E. F. (1974). Activation of semantic memory. American Journal of Psychology, 86, 331-337.

Lorch, R. F. (1982). Priming and search processes in semantic memory: A test of three models of spreading activation.

Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 21, 468-492.

McClelland. J. I., & Rumelhart, D. E. (1981). An interactive activation model of context effects in letter perception: Part 1. an

account of basic findings. Psychological Review, 88, 375-407.

McNamara, T. P., & Diwadkar V. A. (1996). The context of memory retrieval. Journal of Memory and Language, 35,


Neely, J. H. (1977). Semantic priming and retrieval from lexical memory: Roles of inhibitionless spreading activation and

limited capacity attention.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 106, 226-254.

Ratcliff, R., & McKoon, G. (1981). Does activation really spread? Psychological Review, 88, 454-462.

Reder, L. M. & Anderson, J. R. (1980). A partial solution of the paradox of interference: The role of integrating knowledge.

Cognitive Psychology, 12, 447-472.

Roelofs, A. (1992). A spreading-activation theory of lemma retrieval in speaking. Cognition, 42, 107-142.


Repository Staff Only: item control page