ERIC Number: ED278965
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Dec-30
Reference Count: 0
Cueing Spatial Attention during Processing of Words and Letter Strings in Normals. Technical Report #2.
Sieroff, Eric; Posner, Michael I.
Work with patients with attentional deficits produced by posterior cerebral lesions has shown that such patients can identify words correctly even when they fail to report letters in nonwords contralateral to the lesion. Because of this, it has been assumed in cognitive neuropsychology that lesions do not produce new phenomena but instead provide a basis for observing more clearly the operation of systems also found in adults without lesions. To test this belief, three experiments were conducted that followed a strategy of trying to reproduce in normal adults deficits found in patients. The first experiment compared cueing effects on words and pseudowords, the second compared cueing effects of pseudowords with nonpronounceable nonwords, and the third compared words mixed with nonwords made of two morphemes. The experiments all used cues on the left and right of foveally centered letter strings to bias visual spatial attention. All stimuli were presented on video screens driven by microcomputers. Results indicated that (1) cues produced better performances on nearby letters for pseudowords but not for words, (2) the cueing effect was more striking in cases of illegal nonwords than in cases of pseudowords, and (3) there was a strong cueing effect for polymorphic nonwords, but not for compound words. The findings support the strategy of attempting to link dissociations found in adults with lesions and effects found in adults without lesions. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Personnel and Training Research Programs Office.
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO. School of Medicine.