A prominent question in visual word recognition is whether letters within a word are processed in parallel or in a left to right sequence. Although most contemporary models posit parallel processing, this notion seems at odds with well-established serial position effects in word identification that indicate preferential processing for the initial letter. The present study reports 4 experiments designed to further probe the locus of the first position processing advantage. The paradigm involved masked target words presented for short durations and required participants to subsequently select from 2 alternatives, 1 which was identical to the target and 1 that differed by a single letter. Experiment 1 manipulated the case between the target and the alternatives to ensure that previous evidence for a first position effect was not due to simple perceptual matching. The results continued to yield a robust first position advantage. Experiment 2 attempted to eliminate postperceptual decision processes as the explanatory mechanism by presenting single letters as targets and requiring participants to select an entire word that contained the target letter at different positions. Here the first position advantage was eliminated, suggesting postperceptual decision processes do not underlie the effect. The final 2 experiments presented masked stimuli either all vertically (Experiment 3) or randomly intermixed vertical and horizontal orientation (Experiment 4). In both cases, a robust first position advantage was still obtained. The authors consider alternative interpretations of this effect and suggest that these results are consistent with a rapid deployment of spatial attention to the beginning of a target string which occurs poststimulus onset.

The first letter position effect in visual word recognition: The role of spatial attention / Aschenbrenner, Andrew J; Balota, David A.; Weigand, Alexandra J.; Scaltritti, Michele; Besner, Derek. - In: JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE. - ISSN 0096-1523. - 2017, 43:4(2017), pp. 700-718. [10.1037/xhp0000342]

The first letter position effect in visual word recognition: The role of spatial attention

Scaltritti, Michele;
2017

Abstract

A prominent question in visual word recognition is whether letters within a word are processed in parallel or in a left to right sequence. Although most contemporary models posit parallel processing, this notion seems at odds with well-established serial position effects in word identification that indicate preferential processing for the initial letter. The present study reports 4 experiments designed to further probe the locus of the first position processing advantage. The paradigm involved masked target words presented for short durations and required participants to subsequently select from 2 alternatives, 1 which was identical to the target and 1 that differed by a single letter. Experiment 1 manipulated the case between the target and the alternatives to ensure that previous evidence for a first position effect was not due to simple perceptual matching. The results continued to yield a robust first position advantage. Experiment 2 attempted to eliminate postperceptual decision processes as the explanatory mechanism by presenting single letters as targets and requiring participants to select an entire word that contained the target letter at different positions. Here the first position advantage was eliminated, suggesting postperceptual decision processes do not underlie the effect. The final 2 experiments presented masked stimuli either all vertically (Experiment 3) or randomly intermixed vertical and horizontal orientation (Experiment 4). In both cases, a robust first position advantage was still obtained. The authors consider alternative interpretations of this effect and suggest that these results are consistent with a rapid deployment of spatial attention to the beginning of a target string which occurs poststimulus onset.
4
Aschenbrenner, Andrew J; Balota, David A.; Weigand, Alexandra J.; Scaltritti, Michele; Besner, Derek
The first letter position effect in visual word recognition: The role of spatial attention / Aschenbrenner, Andrew J; Balota, David A.; Weigand, Alexandra J.; Scaltritti, Michele; Besner, Derek. - In: JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE. - ISSN 0096-1523. - 2017, 43:4(2017), pp. 700-718. [10.1037/xhp0000342]
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
ABWSB_R2_9.20.16.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo principale post-print dell'autore
Tipologia: Post-print referato (Refereed author’s manuscript)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 1.68 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.68 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Aschenbrenner et al 2017.pdf

Solo gestori archivio

Descrizione: Articolo principale
Tipologia: Versione editoriale (Publisher’s layout)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 1.51 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.51 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/172703
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 7
  • Scopus 23
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 23
social impact