Over the past few decades, a bulk of psycholinguistic evidence have shown that words decompose in morphemes when they are recognized (morphological decomposition). A series of magnetoencephalographic (MEG) studies have recently suggested that the brain response to morphological properties originates from a region of the inferior temporal cortex known as `Visual Word Fom Area' (VWFA; Cohen et al.
Most psycholinguistic research on morphological decomposition has been conducted in the visual modality. The main reason for this is that our current behavioral methodologies seem unable to investigate auditory decomposition at the subliminal level of processing.
The current psycholinguistic literature on visual morphological decomposition makes a great use of the visual masked priming design. Generally speaking, the priming design consists of two stimuli being presented one after the other; the first stimulus is called prime, the second is called target.
A wealth of psycholinguistic evidence has shown that words, before being visually recognized, decompose into smaller units which seem to correspond to morphemes (Rastle et al. 2000, Rastle et al. 2004).