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Faculty Advisors

Smith, Albert F.


Some models of word identification hypothesize that the word recognition system includes units responsive to bigrams (letter pairs). Grainger, Mathot, and Vitu (2014) and Palinski (2016) found that target-flanking bigrams consisting of letters adjacent in targets (e.g., OG FROG FR) affect decisions about whether letter strings are words: Bigram-letter order, but not proximity of bigram letters to their locations in the targets, affected performance. (Average performance was better with FR FROG OG and OG FROG FR than with RF FROG GO and GO FROG RF, but no different with FR FROG OG and RF FROG GO than with OG FROG FR and GO FROG RF.) In a second experiment, Palinski (2016) included nonadjacent-letter flanking bigrams (e.g., FO FROG RG). For adjacent-letter bigrams she found, as did Araya, Russo, and Smith (2017) in an exact replication, significant effects of both letter order and letter proximity. To investigate whether performance with adjacent-letter bigrams depends on the presence of non-adjacent-letter bigrams, we presented these in different blocks of trials. The results were consistent with those of Palinski and of Araya et al. Lexical decision performance with adjacent-letter flanking bigrams appears to depend on the presence of non-adjacent letter bigrams in the experimental context.

Publication Date



College of Sciences and Health Professions




Psychiatry and Psychology

The Impact of Adjacent-Letter Flanking Bigrams on Lexical Decision Performance