Word length and orthographic neighborhood size effects in the left and right cerebral hemispheres

Michal Lavidor, Andrew W. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Previous studies have reported an interaction between visual field (VF) and word length such that word recognition is affected more by length in the left VF (LVF) than in the right VF (RVF). A reanalysis showed that the previously reported effects of length were confounded with orthographic neighborhood size (N). In three experiments we manipulated length and N in lateralized lexical decision tasks. Results showed that length and VF interacted even with N controlled (Experiment 1); that N affected responses to words in the LVF but not the RVF (Experiment 2); and that when length and N were combined, length only affected performance in the LVF for words with few neighbors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the European Commission, Marie Curie fellowship grant, Contract No. HPMF-CT-1999-00205. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Michal Lavidor, Department of Psychology, University of York, York YO10 5DD, England. Fax: +44(0)1904 433181. E-mail: M.Lavidor@psych.york.ac.uk. 45


  • Hemispheric differences
  • Lateralization
  • Orthographic neighborhood size
  • Visual lexical decision
  • Word length


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