August 2010
Volume 10, Issue 7
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2010
Is there a functional overlap between the expert processing of characters from alphabetic and non-alphabetic writing systems?
Author Affiliations
  • Zhiyi Qu
    Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
  • Alan C.-N. Wong
    Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
  • Rankin Williams McGugin
    Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  • Isabel Gauthier
    Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Journal of Vision August 2010, Vol.10, 951. doi:10.1167/10.7.951
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Zhiyi Qu, Alan C.-N. Wong, Rankin Williams McGugin, Isabel Gauthier; Is there a functional overlap between the expert processing of characters from alphabetic and non-alphabetic writing systems?. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):951. doi: 10.1167/10.7.951.

      Download citation file:


      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

Previous ERP and fMRI studies have shown that concurrent processing of units from alphabetic and non-alphabetic writing systems, such as Roman letters and Chinese characters, activate overlapping brain regions. It is unknown, however, whether different types of characters simply recruit separate yet nearby neural networks, or rather there are shared mechanisms for expert processing of characters independent of writing system. Here we study the functional overlap of expert character processing for different writing systems by examining the interference in a visual search task involving processing of multiple types of characters. Chinese-English bilinguals and English readers were asked to search for target Roman letters among images presented sequentially in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream. The search for Roman letters occurred either in a sequence of Roman and Chinese distractors, or in a sequence of Roman and Pseudoletter distractors. Bilinguals performed worse than English readers during Roman letter search among Roman and Chinese characters, whereas there was no group difference in performance during Roman letter search among Roman and Pseudoletter distractors. In other words, the addition of Chinese distractors affected Roman letter search only for bilinguals. The existence of familiar distractors (Chinese characters for bilinguals) alone was insufficient to explain the finding. This can be shown in English readers, who performed similarly when searching for Pseudoletter targets among Pseudoletter and Roman (familiar) distractors compared with searching among Pseudoletter and Chinese (unfamiliar) distractors. Overall, we showed common expert processing mechanisms shared by characters in both alphabetic and non-alphabetic writing systems.

Qu, Z. Wong, A. C.-N. Williams-McGugin, R. Gauthier, I. (2010). Is there a functional overlap between the expert processing of characters from alphabetic and non-alphabetic writing systems? [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 10(7):951, 951a, http://www.journalofvision.org/content/10/7/951, doi:10.1167/10.7.951. [CrossRef]
Footnotes
 This research was supported by the Direct Grant (2020939) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the General Research Fund (452209) from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong to A.W. and through the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center (NSF Science of Learning Center SBE.
×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×