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Neighborhood frequency effects and letter visibility in visual word recognition

Measured lexical decision latencies and errors to 5-letter French words with a single higher frequency orthographic neighbor and control words with no higher frequency neighbors in 2 experiments with 60 university students. The higher frequency neighbor differed from the stimulus word by either the 2nd letter (e.g., ASTRE-AUTRE) or the 4th letter (CHOPE-CHOSE). Neighborhood frequency effects were found to interact with this factor, and significant interference was observed only to CHOPE-type words. The effects of neighborhood frequency were also found to interact with the position of initial fixation in the stimulus word. Word recognition was improved when Ss initially fixated the 2nd letter relative to when they initially fixated the 4th letter of a 5-letter word, but this 2nd-letter advantage practically disappeared when the stimulus differed from a more frequent word by its 4th letter. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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