Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
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DR Melvin J. YAP
National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Office: AS5/04-05
Email: melvin@nus.edu.sg
Tel: (65) 65167768
Fax: (65) 67731843
Homepage: http://staffpages.nus.edu.sg/fas/psyyapm/toc.htm
| Brief Introduction | Teaching Areas | Current Research | Research Interests | Publications | Other Information

Brief Introduction Top

How do people recognize visually printed words? What are the processes and mechanisms that allow a reader to, with relatively little effort, map a string of letters onto its underlying lexical representation, and from there obtain its sound and meaning? How do the different statistical properties of words (e.g., number of letters, frequency of occurrence in the language, likelihood of confusability, imageability) influence how quickly and accurately they are identified?

These broad questions have preoccupied me for the last decade, and have stimulated studies that have helped shed light on the processes implicated in isolated visual word recognition, as well as the interplay between lexical processing and the mechanisms specific to the tasks used to measure such processing.

Teaching Areas Top

  • Visual Word Recognition
  • Psychology of Language
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Psychological Statistics

  • Current Research Top

  • Visual Word Recognition
  • Response Time Distributional Analyses
  • Analyses of Large-Scale Studies
  • Attention and Individual Differences in Reading
  • Models of Lexical Processing and Lexical Decision Performance

  • Research Interests Top

    At the most general level, I am interested in the processes that underlie the recognition of visually presented words. More specifically, I have been investigating how different variables influence word identification performance in different lexical processing tasks, extending conventional analytic tools with distributional analyses of response time distributions. My other research themes include attentional effects in reading, individual differences in word recognition, task-specific effects, models of lexical processing, and models of lexical decision performance.

    Publications Top


    Journal articles

    Adelman, J. S., Johnson, R. L., McCormick, S. E., McKague, M., Kinoshita, S., Bowers, J., Perry, J. R., Lupker, S. J., Forster, K. I., Cortese, M. J., Scaltritti, M., Aschenbrenner, A. J., Coane, J. H., White, L., Yap, M. J., Davis, C., Kim, J., & Davis, C. J. (in press). A behavioral database for masked form priming. Behavior Research Methods.

    Balota, D. A., Aschenbrenner, A., & Yap, M. J. (2013). Additive effects of word frequency and stimulus quality: The influence of trial history and data transformations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 39, 1563-1571.

    Balota, D. A., & Yap, M. J. (2011). Moving beyond the mean in studies of mental chronometry: The power of response time distributional analyses. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 160-166.

    Balota, D. A., Yap, M. J., Cortese, M. J., & Watson, J. M. (2008). Beyond mean response latency: Response time distributional analyses of semantic priming. Journal of Memory & Language, 59, 495-523.

    Balota, D. A., Yap, M. J., Cortese, M. J., Hutchison, K. A., Kessler, B., Loftis, B., Neely, J. H., Nelson, D. L., Simpson, G. B., & Treiman, R. (2007). The English Lexicon Project. Behavior Research Methods, 39. 445-459.

    Balota, D. A., Cortese, M. J., Sergent-Marshall, S., Spieler, D. H., & Yap, M. J. (2004). Visual word recognition of single syllable words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 336-345.

    Castel, A. D., Balota, D. A., Hutchison, K. A., Logan, J. M., & Yap, M. J. (2007). Spatial attention and response control in healthy younger and older adults and individuals with Alzheimer's disease: Evidence for disproportionate selection impairments in the Simon task. Neuropsychology, 21, 170-182.

    Cohen-Shikora, E. R., Balota, D. A., Kapuria, A., & Yap, M. J. (2013). The Past Tense Inflection Project (PTIP): Speeded past tense inflections, imageability ratings, and past tense consistency measures for 2200 verbs. Behavior Research Methods, 45, 151-159.

    Dufau, S., Duñabeitia, J.A., Moret-Tatay, C., McGonigal, A., Peeters, D., Alario, F.-X., Balota, D.A., Brysbaert, M., Carreiras, M., Ferrand, L., Ktori, M., Perea, M., Rastle, K., Sasburg, O., Yap, M.J., Ziegler, J.C., & Grainger, J. (2011). Smart phone, smart science: how the use of smartphones can revolutionize research in cognitive science. PLoS ONE: 6(9): e24974.

    Goh, W. D., Suárez, L., Yap, M. J., & Tan, S. H. (2009). Distributional analyses in auditory lexical decision: Neighborhood density and word-frequency effects. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 882-887.

    Hon, N. H. H., Yap, M. J., & Jabar, S. (2013). The trajectory of the target probability effect. Perception & Psychophysics, 75, 661-666.

    Hutchison, K. A., Balota, D. A., Neely, J. H., Cortese, M. J., Cohen-Shikora, E. R., Tse, C-S., Yap, M. J., Bengson, J. J., Niemeyer, D., & Buchanan, E. (2013). The Semantic Priming Project. Behavior Research Methods, 45, 1099-1114.

    Juhasz, B. J., & Yap, M. J. (2013). Sensory experience ratings (SERs) for over 5,000 mono- and disyllabic words. Behavior Research Methods, 45, 160-168.

    Juhasz, B. J., Yap, M. J., Dicke, J., Taylor, S. C., & Gullick, M. M. (2011). Tangible words are recognized faster: The grounding of meaning in sensory and perceptual systems. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1683-1691.

    Kang, S. H. K., Balota, D. A., & Yap, M. J. (2009). Pathway control in visual word processing: Converging evidence from recognition memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 692-698.

    Kang, S. H. K., Yap, M. J., Tse, C-S., & Kurby, C. A. (2011). Semantic size does not matter: “Bigger” words are not recognised faster. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1041-1047.

    McAuley, T., Yap, M., Christ, S. E., & White, D. A. (2006). Revisiting inhibitory control across the life span: Insights from the Ex-Gaussian distribution. Developmental Neuropsychology, 29, 447-458.

    Pexman, P. M., Siakaluk, P. D., & Yap, M. J. (2013). Introduction to the research topic meaning in mind: Semantic richness effects in language processing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7:723. 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00723

    So, W-C., Low, A. Y-F., Yap, D-F., Kheng, E., & Yap, M. J. (2013). Iconic gestures prime words: comparison of priming effects when gestures are presented alone and when they are accompanying speech Frontiers in Psychology. 4:779. 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00779

    Suárez, L., Tan, S. H., Yap, M. J., & Goh, W. D. (2011). Observing neighbourhood effects without neighbours. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 605-611.

    Sze, W. P., Rickard Liow, S. J., & Yap, M. J. (2014). The Chinese Lexicon Project: A repository of lexical decision behavioral responses for 2,500 Chinese characters. Behavior Research Methods, 46, 263-273.

    Sze, W. P., Yap, M. J., & Rickard Liow, S. J. (in press). The role of lexical variables in the visual recognition of Chinese characters: A megastudy analysis. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

    Taikh, A., Hargreaves, I. S., Yap, M. J., & Pexman, P. M. (in press). Semantic classification of pictures and words. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

    Tse, C-S., Balota, D. A., Yap, M. J., Duchek, J. M., & McCabe, D. P. (2010). Effects of healthy aging and early-stage dementia of the Alzheimer's type on components of response time distributions in three attention tasks. Neuropsychology, 24, 300-315.

    Yap, D. F., So, W. C., Yap, M. J., Tan, Y. Q., & Teoh, S. R. (2011). Iconic gestures prime words. Cognitive Science, 35, 171-183.

    Yap, M. J., & Balota, D. A. (2007). Additive and interactive effects on response time distributions in visual word recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 33, 274-296.

    Yap, M. J., & Balota, D. A. (2009). Visual word recognition of multisyllabic words. Journal of Memory & Language, 60, 502-529.

    Yap, M. J., Balota, D. A., Cortese, M. J., & Watson, J. M. (2006). Single versus dual process models of lexical decision performance: Insights from RT distributional analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 32, 1324-1344.

    Yap, M. J., Balota, D. A., Sibley, D. E., & Ratcliff, R. (2012). Individual differences in visual word recognition: Insights from the English lexicon project. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 38, 53-79.

    Yap, M. J., Balota, D. A., & Tan, S. E. (2013).  Additive and interactive effects in semantic priming: Isolating lexical and decision processes in the lexical decision task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 39, 140-158.

    Yap, M. J., Balota, D. A., Tse, C.-S., & Besner, D. (2008). On the additive effects of stimulus quality and word frequency in lexical decision: Evidence for opposing interactive influences revealed by RT distributional analyses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 34, 495-513.

    Yap, M. J., Pexman, P. M., Wellsby, M., Hargreaves, I. S., & Huff, M. J. (2012). An abundance of riches: Cross-task comparisons of semantic richness effects in visual word recognition. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 6:72. doi: 10.3889/fnhum.2012.00072

    Yap, M. J., Rickard Liow, S. J., Jalil, S. B., & Faizal, S. S. B. (2010). The Malay Lexicon Project: A database of lexical statistics for 9,592 words. Behavior Research Methods, 42, 992-1003.

    Yap, M. J., & Seow, C. S. (2014). The influence of emotion on lexical processing: Insights from RT distributional analyses. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 526-533.

    Yap, M. J., Sibley, D. E., Balota, D. A., Ratcliff, R., & Rueckl, J.  (in press). Responding to nonwords in the lexical decision task: Insights from the English Lexicon Project. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition.

    Yap, M. J., Tan, S. E., Pexman, P. M., & Hargreaves, I. S. (2011). Is more always better? Effects of semantic richness on lexical decision, speeded pronunciation, and semantic classification. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 742-750.

    Yap, M. J., Tse, C.-S., & Balota, D. A. (2009). Individual differences in the joint effects of semantic priming and word frequency: The role of lexical integrity. Journal of Memory & Language, 61, 303-325.

    Yarkoni, T., Balota, D. A., & Yap, M. J. (2008). Beyond Coltheart’s N: A new measure of orthographic similarity. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 971-979.

    Books and Book chapters

    Balota, D. A., & Yap, M. J. (2005). Visual word recognition. In K. Brown (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd Edition). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

    Balota, D. A., & Yap, M. J. (2006). Attentional control and flexible lexical processing: Explorations of the magic moment of word recognition. In S. Andrews (Ed.), From inkmarks to ideas: Current issues in lexical processing (pp.229-258). New York: Psychology Press.

    Balota, D., Yap, M. J., & Cortese, M. J. (2006). Visual word recognition: The journey from features to meaning (A travel update).In M. Traxler & M. A. Gernsbacher (Eds.) Handbook of psycholinguistics (2nd edition) (pp. 285-375). Amsterdam: Academic Press.

    Balota, D. A., Yap, M. J., Hutchison, K.A., & Cortese, M. J. (2012). Megastudies: What do millions (or so) of trials tell us about lexical processing? In J. S. Adelman (Ed). Visual word recognition (pp. 90-115). Hove: Psychology Press.

    Pexman, P. M., Siakaluk, P. D., & Yap, M. J. (Eds.) (2014). Meaning in mind: Semantic richness effects in language processing. Frontiers Media SA.

    Yap, M. J., & Balota, D. A. (in press). Visual word recognition. In A. Pollatsek & R. Treiman (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Reading. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Yap, M. J., & Hutchison, K. A., & Tan, L. C. (in press). Individual differences in semantic priming performance: Insights from the Semantic Priming Project In M. N. Jones (Ed.), Big data in cognitive science: From methods to insights. Psychology Press: New York.

  • Other Information Top

    Professional Service

    • Psychonomic Bulletin and Review (Associate Editor, 2012 – 2013)
    • Behavior Research Methods (Associate Editor, 2014 – present)
    • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance (Consulting Editor, 2012 – present)

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