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The role of orthographic neighbourhood effects in lateralized lexical decision: a replication study and meta-analysis

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  • A.J. Parker
  • C. Egan
  • J.H. Grant
  • S. Harte
  • B.T. Hudson
  • Z.V.J. Woodhead
Article numbere11266
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/04/2021
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The effect of orthographic neighbourhood size (N) on lexical decision reaction time differs when words are presented in the left or right visual fields. Evidence suggests a facilitatory N effect (i.e., faster reaction times for words with larger neighbourhoods) in the left visual field. However, the N effect in the right visual field remains controversial: it may have a weaker facilitative role or it may even be inhibitory. In a pre-registered online experiment, we replicated the interaction between N and visual field and provided support for an inhibitory N effect in the right visual field. We subsequently conducted a pre-registered systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesise the available evidence and determine the direction of N effects across visual fields. Based on the evidence, it would seem the effect is inhibitory in the right visual field. Furthermore, the size of the N effect is considerably smaller in the right visual field. Both studies revealed considerable heterogeneity between participants and studies, and we consider the implications of this for future work.