In three experiments, we examined the internal processing mechanisms of relatively independent visual-form subsystems. Participants first viewed centrally presented word pairs and then completed word stems presented beneath context words in the left or right visual field. Letter-case-specific priming in stem completion was found only when the context word was the same word that had previously appeared above the primed completion word and the items were presented directly to the right cerebral hemisphere. This pattern of results was not found when participants deliberately recollected previously presented words when completing the stems. Results suggest that holistic processing, not parts-based processing as assumed in many contemporary theories of visual-form recognition, is performed in a subsystem that distinguishes specific instances in the same abstract category of form and that operates more effectively in the right hemisphere than in the left hemisphere.