1Chapter 3 How Similarity Inuences Word Recognition: The Effect of Neighbors
One of the most researched topics in the area of cognitive psychology has been the study of single-word recognition (Balota, Cortese, Sergent-Marshall, Spieler, & Yap, 2004). Of this research, one issue that has received considerable attention is how word processing is affected by orthographic and phonological similarity. The impetus for much of this research has been the predictions made by models of word recognition as to how similarity should inuence word processing. A particular class of models that has been extremely inuential along these lines are models that are characterized by interactive activation and competition (IAC). Models that embody the assumption of IAC are among some of the oldest models in psycholinguistics (e.g., McClelland & Elman, 1986; McClelland & Rumelhart, 1981; Rumelhart & McClelland, 1982). the IAC models consist of multiple hierarchical levels that are interconnected with excitatory and/or inhibitory connections. Within each level are nodes denoting the representation that is processed at that level (e.g., whole words or letters).