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Reading ability and the encoding of item and location information.

Abstract

Two experiments using duration exposures ranging from 20 to 130 msec are reported that link reading skill in adults to the initial encoding of location information. Highly skilled and less skilled readers were equivalent in identifying single letters presented at a central fixation point. When they had to identify the serial position of a letter, however, highly skilled readers performed significantly more accurately than did less skilled readers. A second experiment used displays that consisted of one letter and three dollar signs. Subjects had to identify the letter under two location cuing conditions. When subjects were cued in advance as to which serial position would contain the letter, highly skilled and less skilled readers were equivalent. When the location of the letter had to be resolved prior to identification, highly skilled readers performed significantly more accurately than did less skilled readers. Results are interpreted to suggest that the role of perception in reading has been underestimated because emphasis has been on item perception, and the perception of spatial location has been largely overlooked.

PMID:
6444996
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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