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Karine Tadros, Nicolas Dupuis-Roy, Daniel Fiset, Martin Arguin, Frédéric Gosselin; Reading laterally: The cerebral hemispheric use of spatial frequencies in visual word recognition. Journal of Vision 2013;13(1):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.1.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It is generally accepted that the left hemisphere (LH) is more capable for reading than the right hemisphere (RH). Left hemifield presentations (initially processed by the RH) lead to a globally higher error rate, slower word identification, and a significantly stronger word length effect (i.e., slower reaction times for longer words). Because the visuo-perceptual mechanisms of the brain for word recognition are primarily localized in the LH (Cohen et al., 2003), it is possible that this part of the brain possesses better spatial frequency (SF) tuning for processing the visual properties of words than the RH. The main objective of this study is to determine the SF tuning functions of the LH and RH for word recognition. Each word image was randomly sampled in the SF domain using the SF bubbles method (Willenbockel et al., 2010) and was presented laterally to the left or right visual hemifield. As expected, the LH requires less visual information than the RH to reach the same level of performance, illustrating the well-known LH advantage for word recognition. Globally, the SF tuning of both hemispheres is similar. However, these seemingly identical tuning functions hide important differences. Most importantly, we argue that the RH requires higher SFs to identify longer words because of crowding.
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