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Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2016 Jun;16(3):406-14. doi: 10.3758/s13415-015-0400-5.

The time course of visual influences in letter recognition.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive-CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, 3, place Victor Hugo-Case D, 13331, Marseille Cedex 03, France.
2
Department of Psychology, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
3
Laboratoire Parole et Langage, CNRS & Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France.
4
Brain and Language Research Institute, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France.
5
Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.
6
Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive-CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, 3, place Victor Hugo-Case D, 13331, Marseille Cedex 03, France. arnaud.rey@univ-amu.fr.
7
Brain and Language Research Institute, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France. arnaud.rey@univ-amu.fr.

Abstract

This study builds on a specific characteristic of letters of the Roman alphabet-namely, that each letter name is associated with two visual formats, corresponding to their uppercase and lowercase versions. Participants had to read aloud the names of single letters, and event-related potentials (ERPs) for six pairs of visually dissimilar upper- and lowercase letters were recorded. Assuming that the end product of processing is the same for upper- and lowercase letters sharing the same vocal response, ERPs were compared backward, starting from the onset of articulatory responses, and the first significant divergence was observed 120 ms before response onset. Given that naming responses were produced at around 414 ms, on average, these results suggest that letter processing is influenced by visual information until 294 ms after stimulus onset. This therefore provides new empirical evidence regarding the time course and interactive nature of visual letter perception processes.

KEYWORDS:

Event-related potentials; Letter processing; Visual perception

PMID:
26742753
DOI:
10.3758/s13415-015-0400-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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