Visual Word Recognition (vwr) package for R released

We have just released vwr, an R package to assist in computations often needed in visual word recognition research.

The manual for the package can be found here.

Vwr includes functions to:

  • Compute levenshtein distances between strings
  • Compute hamming distances (overlap distance) between strings
  • Compute neighbors based on the levenshtein and hamming distance
  • Compute Coltheart’s N and average levenshtein distances (e.g., Yarkoni et al’s OLD20 measure). These functions run in parallel on multiple cores and offer a major speed advantage when computing these values for large lists of words.

The package also includes the ldknn algorithm, a method that we recently proposed to examine  how balanced a lexical decision task is (i.e., how easy it is to discriminate the words from the nonwords in an experiment given no other information than the stimuli in the experiment). A preliminary version of that paper can be found here.

As the package is listed on CRAN, it can be installed like any other official package for R.

We’d be happy to have your feedback. As this is just a first version, it is guaranteed to be not error free. Also, feel free to pass it on to interested colleagues for testing.

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