September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Word and Sentence Level Spatial Information In Reading
Author Affiliations
  • Peter Bex
    Department of Psychology, College of Science, Northeastern University
  • Ayo Ayeni
    Department of Psychology, College of Science, Northeastern University
  • Emily Wiecek
    Department of Psychology, College of Science, Northeastern University
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 911. doi:10.1167/15.12.911
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      Peter Bex, Ayo Ayeni, Emily Wiecek; Word and Sentence Level Spatial Information In Reading. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):911. doi: 10.1167/15.12.911.

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

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Abstract

Reading is considered an inefficient activity that requires independent detection of individual letters without integrating word or sentence information. We studied the use of word- and sentence-shape information using word discrimination and reading tasks with spatially distorted text in 18 naïve observers. Threshold durations were measured as a function of the wavelength and magnitude of spatial distortion applied to text for word/non-word classification of 4 and 8 letter words, and true/false classification of 4-word sentences. Spatial distortion slowed word recognition and reading. Unlike the uni-modal tuning functions observed in noise masking studies, we find multi-modal tuning functions that correspond to maximal impairment at around 2 cycles per letter, 2 cycles per word and 2 cycles per line of text. These data imply that information at these word- and sentence-length dependent scales are important for word recognition and reading, This finding is consistent with the robustness of reading letter-substituted text, proof-reading errors and the ineffectiveness of letter-based assistive reading methods.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015

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