ERIC Number: ED208368
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Distribution of Information within Letters. Technical Report No. 215.
Navon, David; Shimron, Joseph
Two experiments were designed to study the relative importance of various letter segments in letter recognition. One experiment was conducted with 24 subjects and the English alphabet, the other with 15 subjects and the Hebrew alphabet. In each experiment a letter was presented for identification, but was preceded by a brief presentation of either a mutilated version of the target letter or a neutral pattern. Mutilations were accomplished by eliminating a specific segment, such as the lower horizontal stroke of the letter E. It was reasoned that the more critical the eliminated segment, the less the altered version would activate the letter code in memory, thus the longer it would take for a subject to name the subsequently presented target letter. This procedure was successful in detecting significant differences consistent with expectations. The latency data were highly correlated with the distinctiveness of the mutilated segment, its uniqueness in the alphabet, its impact on the letter's global shape, its topography within the letter, and other variables. The dependency of latency on the various factors varied considerably between alphabets. Two of the informational variables, distinctiveness and uniqueness, were found to have a significant effect, the first just in Hebrew and the second in both languages. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.