Testing for Lexical Competition During Reading: Fast Priming With Orthographic Neighbors

Mariko Nakayama, Christopher R. Sears*, Stephen J. Lupker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent studies have found that masked word primes that are orthographic neighbors of the target inhibit lexical decision latencies (Davis & Lupker, 2006; Nakayama, Sears, & Lupker, 2008), consistent with the predictions of lexical competition models of visual word identification (e.g., Grainger & Jacobs, 1996). In contrast, using the fast priming paradigm (Sereno & Rayner, 1992), orthographically similar primes produced facilitation in a reading task (H. Lee, Rayner, & Pollatsek, 1999; Y. Lee, Binder, Kim, Pollatsek, & Rayner, 1999). Experiment 1 replicated this facilitation effect using orthographic neighbor primes. In Experiment 2, neighbor primes and targets were presented in different cases (e.g., SIDE-tide); in this situation, the facilitation effect disappeared. However, nonword neighbor primes (e.g., KIDE-tide) still significantly facilitated reading of targets (Experiment 3). Taken together, these results suggest that it is possible to explain the priming effects from word neighbor primes in fast priming experiments in terms of the interactions between the inhibitory and facilitory processes embodied in lexical competition models.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)477-492
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


    • fast priming
    • masked priming
    • neighbor priming
    • neighborhood frequency
    • orthographic neighbors


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