Journal article

Implied Reading Direction and Prioritization of Letter Encoding

Alex O Holcombe, Elizabeth HL Nguyen, Patrick T Goodbourn



Capacity limits hinder processing of multiple stimuli, contributing to poorer performance for identifying two briefly presented letters than for identifying a single letter. Higher accuracy is typically found for identifying the letter on the left, which has been attributed to a right-hemisphere dominance for selective attention. Here, we use rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of letters in two locations at once. The letters to be identified are simultaneous and cued by rings. In the first experiment, we manipulated implied reading direction by rotating or mirror-reversing the letters to face to the left rather than to the right. The left-side performance advantage was eliminated. In th..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Australian Research Council grants DP140100952 and FT0990767 to Alex O. Holcombe and by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation (New Agendas for the Study of Time: Connecting the Disciplines). The pilot experiment mentioned in the Method section of Experiment 1 was reported at the 2014 Experimental Psychology Conference of Australasia. An early version of this article was posted at PsyArxiv. org, Teresa Schubert and Max Coltheart provided helpful input regarding the literature on letter processing. Kim Ransley, Brad Wyble, Chris Bush, and Sachiko Kinoshita also provided valuable advice.