Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why C Is Not G: Dyslexia Treatment Clues From Research On How We Identify Letters

Date:
November 26, 2008
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
The next time you are reading a book, or even as you read this article, consider the words that you are seeing. How do you recognize these words? A new study reveals that the most important features for identifying both upper and lower case letters are the points where the letters end, also known as line terminations. The presence of horizontal lines in the letters was the second most important feature for letter recognition.

The next time you are reading a book, or even as you read this article, consider the words that you are seeing. How do you recognize these words? Substantial research has shown that while reading, we recognize words by their letters and not by the general shape of the word. However, it was largely unknown how we differentiate one letter from another.

Related Articles


Psychologist Daniel Fiset from the University of Victoria and his colleagues investigated which features of letters are necessary for their identification. In these experiments, the researchers used the “Bubbles” technique, in which randomly sampled areas of a letter were shown to volunteers. The researchers then evaluated which areas of each of the 26 letters of the Roman alphabet were crucial for letter recognition.

The results, reported in the November issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reveal that the most important features for identifying both upper and lower case letter are the points where the letters end, also known as line terminations. The presence of horizontal lines in the letters was the second most important feature for letter recognition.

To compare the human volunteers’ use of letter features with optimal use of the provided information, the researchers developed an “ideal-observer” model, which used all of the visual information that was available for letter identification. There were some notable differences comparing the human results to those of the ideal observer. For instance, the most useful feature of letters for the ideal observer were vertical lines and curves opening up and not line terminations.

The authors note that the human visual system is believed to be specialized in the processing of line terminations, which allow us to recognize and distinguish surrounding objects. They suggest that the great importance of terminations for letter recognition results from an interaction between the relative usefulness of this feature and a strong natural tendency of the human visual system to encode it.

The researchers conclude that these findings may lead to the development of fonts which could result in improved and faster letter recognition, both for normal readers and individuals with letter-by-letter dyslexia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Why C Is Not G: Dyslexia Treatment Clues From Research On How We Identify Letters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125113003.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2008, November 26). Why C Is Not G: Dyslexia Treatment Clues From Research On How We Identify Letters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125113003.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Why C Is Not G: Dyslexia Treatment Clues From Research On How We Identify Letters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125113003.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins