Orthographic and phonological contributions to flanker effects


  • Cauchi Christophe
  • Lété Bernard
  • Grainger Jonathan


  • Reading
  • Flankers task
  • Phonology
  • Pseudohomophones

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Does phonology contribute to effects of orthographically related flankers in the flankers task? In order to answer this question, we implemented the flanker equivalent of a pseudohomophone priming manipulation that has been widely used to demonstrate automatic phonological processing during visual word recognition. In Experiment 1, central target words were flanked on each side by either a pseudohomophone of the target (e.g., roze rose roze), an orthographic control pseudoword (rone rose rone), or an unrelated pseudoword (mirt rose mirt). Both the pseudohomophone and the orthographic control conditions produced faster and more accurate responses to central targets, but performance in these two conditions did not differ significantly. Experiment 2 tested the same stimuli in a masked priming paradigm and replicated the standard finding in French that pseudohomophone primes produce significantly faster responses to target words than orthographic control primes. Therefore, contrary to its impact on masked priming, phonology does not contribute to effects of flanker relatedness, which would appear to be driven primarily by orthographic overlap.

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