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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.

Original publication




Journal article





Publication Date





e11266 - e11266