Reading and Writing

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 631–651 | Cite as

An associative account of Orthographic Satiation in Chinese characters

  • Jie Yuan
  • Sarah Carr
  • Guosheng Ding
  • Shimin Fu
  • John Xuexin Zhang


Prolonged inspection of a Chinese character induces a feeling of uncertainty of the character, a phenomenon named as Orthographic Satiation. However, there has not been direct evidence showing that such satiation does occur at the orthographic level. To investigate whether Chinese satiation occurs at the orthographic level or at other levels, the present study applies a speeded repetition priming paradigm to Chinese, which has been successfully used to examine Semantic Satiation in English. When judging whether a category name matched an exemplar word, participants showed gradually slower responses as the character standing for the category name was repeated, indicating the occurrence of satiation. However, repetition of a character without accessing its meaning, or repeated access to its meaning without repeating the character itself, did not elicit satiation. The results suggest Orthographic Satiation occurs not at the orthographic level, but at a level associating orthography and meaning during Chinese character reading.


Orthographic Satiation Category membership task Speeded repetition priming Chinese character reading 



We thank Zhang Wenxia for support in data collection and Peng Danlin for helpful discussions. Part of the results has been reported at the 13th National Academic Congress of Psychology and the Senior Seminar of Chinese Cognition and Processing jointly hosted by Chinese Psychological Society and Peking University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sarah Carr
    • 3
  • Guosheng Ding
    • 4
  • Shimin Fu
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Xuexin Zhang
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, and Center for Collaboration and Innovation in Brain and Learning SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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