Word recognition as a function of locus in the four lateral visual fields: the iota phenomenon




Koetting, James Felix 1927-2009

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This study was an investigation involving the evaluation of performance in each of the four lateral visual fields using 3-letter English words. A search was made for observable superiority of word recognition in any one of the fields or in their various combinations. Apparatus included a modified stereoscopic viewing device and tachistoscopic mechanism for presenting targets in positions laterally displaced from the point of fixation at a typical reading distance. Subjects were 46 fifth grade elementary school children. A superiority of performance was found in the right binocular field as compared to the left, and in the total field of the left eye as compared to that of the right. Superiority of performance found in the nasal field of the left eye is apparently responsible for these differences. This evidence supports the position that the numerical superiority of nerve fibers servicing a given retinal locus and its associated visual field is not the responsible factor for superior performance in recognizing cords, and that a learned post-exposural processing of information influenced by the nature of the stimulus target is involved in what is perceived. A dominancy of the left cerebral hemisphere for word recognition and reading is also suggested by the data.



Visual fields, Left and right (Psychology)