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Using a priming procedure, 4 experiments were carried out to investigate the effects of a short preexposure of a prime that was a radical or contained radicals identical to the target. Significant facilitation was found when the target contained the prime as a radical, although only for low-frequency targets which did not arise merely as a result of graphical similarity. Facilitation also occurred when the prime and target shared a radical in the same position but not when in different positions. When the prime and target had exactly the same radicals but in different positions, however, the priming effect was inhibitory. This set of results suggests that simple characters (radicals) and complex characters are represented at a different level.