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Effects of phonological and orthographic neighbourhood density interact in visual word recognition

Effects of phonological and orthographic neighbourhood density interact in visual word recognition,Jonathan Grainger,Mathilde Muneaux,Fernand Farioli,

Effects of phonological and orthographic neighbourhood density interact in visual word recognition   (Citations: 26)
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The present study investigated the role of phonological and orthographic neighbourhood density in visual word recognition. Three mechanisms were identified that predict distinct facilitatory or inhibitory effects of each variable. The lexical competition account predicts overall inhibitory effects of neighbourhood density. The global activation (familiarity) account predicts overall facil- itatory effects of neighbourhood density. Finally, the cross-code consistency account predicts an interaction, with inhibition of phonological neighbours in sparse orthographic regions and facili- tation of phonological neighbours in dense orthographic regions. In Experiment 1 (lexical decision), a cross-over interaction was indeed found, supporting the prediction of the cross-code consistency account. In Experiment 2, this cross-over interaction was exaggerated by adding pseudohomo- phone stimuli (e.g., brane) among the nonword targets. Finally, in Experiment 3 (progressive demasking), we tried to shift the balance between inhibitory and facilitatory mechanisms by using a perceptual identification task. As predicted, the inhibitory effects of phonological neighbour- hood were amplified, whereas the facilitatory effects disappeared. We conclude that the level of compatibility across co-activated orthographic and phonological representations is a major causal factor underlying this pattern of effects. It is now a well-established fact that the process of printed word perception, as reflected in standard laboratory tasks such as lexical decision (speeded word/nonword classification), is influenced by variables defined in terms of the sounds of words (i.e., phonology). Although phonology is obviously an essential part of the processes involved in reading words aloud, up until quite recently its role in skilled silent reading was generally neglected (Carello, Turvey, & Lukatela, 1992). Over the last 15 years, however, evidence in favour of rapid, auto- matic involvement of phonological information during visual word recognition has been obtained from several different paradigms (see Frost, 1998, for a review). For example, when words are presented in isolation, heterographic homophones (e.g., MAID-MADE) are generally harder to recognize than nonhomophonic words (Ferrand & Grainger, 2003;
Published in 2005.
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