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Front Psychol. 2016 Jun 6;7:646. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00646. eCollection 2016.

The Limited Impact of Exposure Duration on Holistic Word Processing.

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Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Ministry of Education, Faculty of Psychology, Southwest UniversityChongqing, China; Research Center for Brain Function and Psychological Science, Shenzhen UniversityShenzhen, China.
Department of Psychology, International Islamic UniversityIslamabad, Pakistan; Department of Psychology, University of SindhJamshoro, Pakistan.
Research Center of Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, Liaoning Normal University Dalian, China.
Department of Psychology, Hunan Normal University Changsha, China.


The current study explored the impact of stimuli exposure duration on holistic word processing measured by the complete composite paradigm (CPc paradigm). The participants were asked to match the cued target parts of two characters which were presented for either a long (600 ms) or a short duration (170 ms). They were also tested by two popular versions of the CPc paradigm: the "early-fixed" task where the attention cue was visible from the beginning of each trial at a fixed position, and the "delayed-random" task where the cue showed up after the study character at random locations. The holistic word effect, as indexed by the alignment × congruency interaction, was identified in both tasks and was unaffected by the stimuli duration in both tasks. Meanwhile, the "delayed-random" task did not bring about larger holistic word effect than the "early-fixed" task. These results suggest the exposure duration (from around 150 to 600 ms) has a limited impact on the holistic word effect, and have methodological implications for experiment designs in this field.


Chinese character; composite task; holistic processing; signal detection theory; word recognition

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