When orthographic neighbors fail to facilitate

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Abstract

Forward masked word primes that differed from the target in the initial, the final or both the initial and final positions tended to slow target decision latencies and there were no significant differences among prime types. After forward masked nonword primes we observed non significant facilitation when primes differed from the target by one letter in either the initial or final position and significant inhibition when primes differed in both initial and final positions. The patterns did not differ significantly for targets with large and with small neighborhoods. Only in post hoc analyses was there any indication of facilitation after nonword neighbor primes and it appeared only when body neighborhood was small. For slower participants, neighbors tended to facilitate target decision latencies while for relatively fast readers showed neighbors made inhibition that tended to vary with amount of mismatch.

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