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Behav Res Methods. 2014 Mar;46(1):148-58. doi: 10.3758/s13428-013-0356-8.

Phi-square Lexical Competition Database (Phi-Lex): an online tool for quantifying auditory and visual lexical competition.

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Department of Psychology, Carleton College, Northfield, MN, 55057, USA,


A widely agreed-upon feature of spoken word recognition is that multiple lexical candidates in memory are simultaneously activated in parallel when a listener hears a word, and that those candidates compete for recognition (Luce, Goldinger, Auer, & Vitevitch, Perception 62:615-625, 2000; Luce & Pisoni, Ear and Hearing 19:1-36, 1998; McClelland & Elman, Cognitive Psychology 18:1-86, 1986). Because the presence of those competitors influences word recognition, much research has sought to quantify the processes of lexical competition. Metrics that quantify lexical competition continuously are more effective predictors of auditory and visual (lipread) spoken word recognition than are the categorical metrics traditionally used (Feld & Sommers, Speech Communication 53:220-228, 2011; Strand & Sommers, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 130:1663-1672, 2011). A limitation of the continuous metrics is that they are somewhat computationally cumbersome and require access to existing speech databases. This article describes the Phi-square Lexical Competition Database (Phi-Lex): an online, searchable database that provides access to multiple metrics of auditory and visual (lipread) lexical competition for English words, available at .

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