chapter  20
20 Pages

An Overview of Neighbourhood Effects in Word Recognition: Juan Segui and Jonathan Grainger

The theoretical precursors of this new orientation are the different models of word recognition developed over the last two decades (Forster, 1976; Marslen-Wilson & Welsh, 1978; McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981; Morton, 1969; Paap, Newsome, McDonald, & Schvaneveldt, 1982). All these models stress the fact that recognising a word involves isolating the correct lexical representation in memory from among a set of possible candidates defined by the input characteristics of the model. Perhaps one of the principal defining characteristics of these different models, apart from their different input mechanisms, is the particular mechanism invoked to perform this selection task. These different mechanisms will be discussed in the light of the empirical results to be presented here (see Bard, 1990 for an excellent theoretical discussion of some possible mechanisms). Nevertheless, the principal aim of this chapter is to summarise the empirical data concerning the effects of similarity neighbourhoods in word


recognition. This analysis will be presented in two sections dealing separately with isolated word recognition and primed word recognition.