Distributional Analyses in Visual Lexical Decision: Orthographic Neighborhood Density and Word Frequency Effects


The effects of orthographic neighborhood density and word frequency in visual word recognition were investigated using distributional analyses of response latencies in visual lexical decision. Main effects of density and frequency were observed in mean latencies. Distributional analyses, in addition, revealed a density x frequency interaction: for low-frequency words, density effects were mediated predominantly by distributional shifting whereas for high-frequency words, density effects were absent except at the slower RTs, implicating distributional skewing. The present findings suggest that density effects in low-frequency words reflect processes involved in early lexical access, while the effects observed in high-frequency words reflect late postlexical checking processes.

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