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The Split Fovea Theory and the Leicester critique: what do the data say?

By Lise Van der Haegen, Denis Drieghe and Marc Brysbaert


According to the Split Fovea Theory (SFT) recognition of foveally presented words involves interhemispheric<br/>transfer. This is because letters to the left of the fixation location are initially sent to the right<br/>hemisphere, whereas letters to the right of the fixation position are projected to the left hemisphere.<br/>Both sources of information must be integrated for words to be recognized. Evidence for the SFT comes<br/>from the Optimal Viewing Position (OVP) paradigm, in which foveal word recognition is examined as<br/>a function of the letter fixated. OVP curves are different for left and right language dominant participants,<br/>indicating a time cost when information is presented in the half-field ipsilateral to the dominant<br/>hemisphere (Hunter, Brysbaert, &amp; Knecht, 2007). The methodology of the SFT research has recently been<br/>questioned, because not enough efforts were made to ensure adequate fixation. The aim of the present<br/>study is to test the validity of this argument. Experiment 1 replicated the OVP effect in a naming task<br/>by presenting words at different fixation positions, with the experimental settings applied in previous<br/>OVP research. Experiment 2 monitored and controlled eye fixations of the participants and presented<br/>the stimuli within the boundaries of the fovea. Exactly the same OVP curve was obtained. In Experiment<br/>3, the eyes were also tracked and monocular viewing was used. Results again revealed the same OVP<br/>effect, although latencies were remarkably higher than in the previous experiments. From these results<br/>we can conclude that although noise is present in classical SFT studies without eye-tracking, this does<br/>not change the OVP effect observed with left dominant individuals

Topics: BF
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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