The effect of orthographic uniqueness and deviation points on lexical decisions

Evidence from unilateral and bilateral-redundant presentations

Annukka K. Lindell*, Michael E R Nicholls, Anne E. Castles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Words with an early or late orthographic uniqueness point and nonwords with an early or late orthographic deviation point were presented to the left, right, or both visual fields simultaneously. In Experiment 1, 20 participants made lexical decision judgements to horizontal stimulus presentations. In Experiment 2, a further 20 participants completed the task using vertical presentations to control for attentional biases. Consistent with previous research, words with earlier orthographic uniqueness points prompted faster responses across visual fields, regardless of stimulus orientation. Although research has suggested that the left hemisphere's superiority for language processing stems from a comparatively parallel processing strategy, with the right hemisphere reliant upon a serial mechanism, left and right visual field presentations were not differentially affected by orthographic uniqueness point. This suggests that differential sequential effects previously reported result during processes other than retrieval from the lexicon. The overall right visual field advantage observed using horizontal presentations disappeared when stimuli were presented vertically. Contrary to expectations, there was a facilitatory effect of late orthographic deviation point for horizontal nonword presentations. Overall, the results were interpreted as being consistent with predictions of a cohort model of word recognition, and they highlighted the effect of stimulus orientation on left and right hemisphere word recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-307
Number of pages21
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology
Volume56 A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

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