Role of syllable segmentation processes in peripheral word recognition

Jean Baptiste Bernard, Aurélie Calabrèse, Eric Castet

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2 Scopus citations


Previous studies of foveal visual word recognition provide evidence for a low-level syllable decomposition mechanism occurring during the recognition of a word. We investigated if such a decomposition mechanism also exists in peripheral word recognition. Single words were visually presented to subjects in the peripheral field using a 6° square gaze-contingent simulated central scotoma. In the first experiment, words were either unicolor or had their adjacent syllables segmented with two different colors (color/syllable congruent condition). Reaction times for correct word identification were measured for the two different conditions and for two different print sizes. Results show a significant decrease in reaction time for the color/syllable congruent condition compared with the unicolor condition. A second experiment suggests that this effect is specific to syllable decomposition and results from strategic, presumably involving attentional factors, rather than stimulus-driven control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Peripheral vision
  • Simulated scotoma
  • Syllabic decomposition
  • Word recognition


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