NoA's Ark: influence of the number of associates in visual word recognition

Psychon Bull Rev. 2008 Dec;15(6):1072-7. doi: 10.3758/PBR.15.6.1072.


The main aim of this study was to explore the extent to which the number of associates of a word (NoA) influences lexical access, in four tasks that focus on different processes of visual word recognition: lexical decision, reading aloud, progressive demasking, and online sentence reading. Results consistently showed that words with a dense associative neighborhood (high-NoA words) were processed faster than words with a sparse neighborhood (low-NoA words), extending previous findings from English lexical decision and categorization experiments. These results are interpreted in terms of the higher degree of semantic richness of high-NoA words as compared with low-NoA words.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Association Learning*
  • Comprehension
  • Humans
  • Phonetics
  • Reading*
  • Semantics*
  • Verbal Behavior*