ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (4): 615-625.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.00615

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Semantic Satiation and Its Cognitive Mechanism

JIA Jianrong;ZHANG Dexuan   

  1. (School of Education Science, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036, China)
  • Received:2012-08-03 Online:2013-04-15 Published:2013-04-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Dexuan

Abstract: When we look at a word or a character for a relative long period, or read a word repeatedly, we will have a special experience that the meaning of word is lost or the word seems strange. About 100 years ago, psychologists noticed this phenomenon, and named it as semantic satiation. Since then, a variety of methods has been developed to measure or evaluate the semantic satiation. However, these different methods failed to converge on a coherence conclusion what the semantic satiation is. At the same time, researchers proposed three possible accounts that the semantic satiation may occur in the stages of the perceptual representation, semantic processing, or the association between the lexical item and meaning. Each of accounts was supported by some studies. Additionally, this review also introduced a similar phenomenon named orthographic satiation occurring in ideograph like Chinese characters. In recent years, the development of experimental paradigms of cognitive psychology and neuroscience technology make it possible to make a progress on semantic satiation study, and reveal its neural mechanism.

Key words: perceptual reorganization, semantic satiation, orthographic satiation, associative satiation