Article

Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 191-198

Neighborhood frequency effects in visual word recognition: A comparison of lexical decision and masked identification latencies

  • Jonathan GraingerAffiliated withUniversité René Descartes and Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique
  • , Juan SeguiAffiliated withUniversité René Descartes and Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique

Abstract

Recent research suggests that the time to recognize a visually presented word may be a function of the frequencies of orthographically similar words. More precisely, recognition latencies and errors appear to increase significantly as soon as the stimulus word is orthographically-similar to at least one other higher frequency word. This phenomenon, referred to as theneighborhood frequency effect, was subjected to further experimental testing, using a larger selection of words of varying frequency and length, and using a new experimental technique that proved to be extremely sensitive to such effects. The results provide additional support for earlier observations of neighborhood frequency effects. It is also demonstrated that clear word-frequency effects do obtain when neighborhood frequency is held constant. The results support activationbased accounts of the word-recognition process.