The effect of orthographic neighbourhood size (N) on lexical decision reaction time differs when words are presented in the left or right visual fields. Evidence suggests a facilitatory N effect (i.e., faster reaction times for words with larger neighbourhoods) in the left visual field. However, the N effect in the right visual field remains controversial: it may have a weaker facilitative role or it may even be inhibitory. In a pre-registered online experiment, we replicated the interaction between N and visual field and provided support for an inhibitory N effect in the right visual field. We subsequently conducted a pre-registered systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesise the available evidence and determine the direction of N effects across visual fields. Based on the evidence, it would seem the effect is inhibitory in the right visual field. Furthermore, the size of the N effect is considerably smaller in the right visual field. Both studies revealed considerable heterogeneity between participants and studies, and we consider the implications of this for future work.
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