Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception Institut Neurosciences Cognition Université Paris Descartes Centre National de Recherche Scientifique
Home
Research
vision Vision
action Action
speech Speech
avoc AVoC
support support staff
People
Former Staff
Teaching
Publications
Ethics
Events
Practical

Calendar
Opportunities
Internships
Contracts
Platforms
Links

Baby Lab

Intranet
Letter legibility and visual word recognition

Word recognition performance varies systematically as a function of where the eyes fixate in the word. Performance is maximal with the eye slightly left of the center of the word and decreases drastically to both sides of this optimal viewing position. Previous studies have pointed to a relation between the viewing position effect (VPE) and letter legibility: When letter legibility drops, the VPE becomes more exaggerated. To investigate this phenomenon, 60 Ss participated in 3 experiments in which letter legibility was improved by magnifying letter size in a way that was proportional to the distance from fixation. Contrary to what would be expected if the VPE were due to limits of acuity, improving the legibility of letters had only a restricted influence on performance. The failure to neutralize the VPE is interpreted in terms of perceptual learning: Since normally, because of acuity limitations, the only information available in parafoveal vision concerns low-resolution features of letters; even when magnification provides better information, readers are unable to make use of it. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



URL