In psycholinguistics, the coactivation of lexical candidates by partial input has received a lot of attention. More recently, psychophysiological studies have shed more light on this issue and identified two possible time windows in which effects of coactivation of lexical candidates can be observed in event-related potentials (ERPs). However, these studies cannot be used to disentangle effects of coactivation from the inhibition of candidates that do not match input. A new visual gating paradigm is presented, in which stimuli were visually presented letter by letter, decreasing the size of the cohort of lexical candidates as more letters are presented. Stimuli were created such that at the letter position of interest, the amount of coactivated candidates was kept constant while manipulating the size of the reduction of the cohort. The resulting ERPs indicate two components (frontal P2, and a left temporal late negativity) that scaled with cohort-size reduction. These results show that a visual gating paradigm can be used to disentangle coactivation of lexical candidates from inhibition of non-matching items, and that these processes are closely related to each other in time.