Font Regularity Constraints on the Process of Letter Recognition

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font regularity, process of letter recognition, college students

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Strings of four unrelated letters were presented for subjects to identify, followed by a patterned mask and then a forced choice test of each letter position. In Experiment 1, the type style in the regular conditions was consistent—all of the letters were of a single type font—whereas in the mixed condition, each string contained letters from two type fonts. Compared with the mixed condition, accuracy in the regular conditions was higher overall and increased at a faster rate as a function of processing time. This held across four sessions. In Experiment 2, the font in the mixed condition was varied either between or within letter strings; sizeable advantages for the regular conditions were found with both mix-methods. The results are consistent with the idea of a schemalike perceptual system that becomes tuned to the regularities of a particular font in order to process visual information efficiently.

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Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v. 14, issue 3, p. 472-480