NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1141232
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0090-6905
The Inversion Effect for Chinese Characters Is Modulated by Radical Organization
Luo, Canhuang; Chen, Wei; Zhang, Ye
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v46 n3 p791-803 Jun 2017
In studies of visual object recognition, strong inversion effects accompany the acquisition of expertise and imply the involvement of configural processing. Chinese literacy results in sensitivity to the orthography of Chinese characters. While there is some evidence that this orthographic sensitivity results in an inversion effect, and thus involves configural processing, that processing might depend on exact orthographic properties. Chinese character recognition is believed to involve a hierarchical process, involving at least two lower levels of representation: strokes and radicals. Radicals are grouped into characters according to certain types of structure, i.e. left-right structure, top-bottom structure, or simple characters with only one radical by itself. These types of radical structures vary in both familiarity, and in hierarchical level (compound versus simple characters). In this study, we investigate whether the hierarchical-level or familiarity of radical-structure has an impact on the magnitude of the inversion effect. Participants were asked to do a matching task on pairs of either upright or inverted characters with all the types of structure. Inversion effects were measured based on both reaction time and response sensitivity. While an inversion effect was observed in all 3 conditions, the magnitude of the inversion effect varied with radical structure, being significantly larger for the most familiar type of structure: characters consisting of 2 radicals organized from left to right. These findings indicate that character recognition involves extraction of configural structure as well as radical processing which play different roles in the processing of compound characters and simple characters.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A