The impact of feedback semantics in visual word recognition: Number-of-features effects in lexical decision and naming tasks

Penny M. Pexman, Stephen J. Lupker, Yasushi Hino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

127 Citations (Scopus)


The notion of feedback activation from semantics to both orthography and phonology has recently been used to explain a number of semantic effects in visual word recognition, including polysemy effects (Hino & Lupker, 1996; Pexman & Lupker, 1999) and synonym effects (Pecher, 2001). In the present research, we tested an account based on feedback activation by investigating a new semantic variable: number of features (NOF). Words with high NOF (e.g., LION) should activate richer semantic representations than do words with low NOF (e.g., LIME). As a result, the feedback activation from semantics to orthographic and phonological representations should be greater for high-NOF words, which should produce superior lexical decision task (LDT) and naming task performance. The predicted facilitory NOF effects were observed in both LDT and naming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-549
Number of pages8
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Sep
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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