Effects of Font- and Letter-Specific Experience on the Perceptual Processing of Letters

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Typographic fonts, Experimental psychology, Perceptual processing, Error rates, Memory recall, Representation letters, Cognition, Academic learning

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Subjects made speeded decisions as to whether strings contained all letters or a nonletter. Strings were 2 to 6 items long, and were initially drawn from one subset of letters and nonletters from one font. During the session, the stimuli were changed without warning to either new letters of the same font or new letters of a new font (Experiments 1 and 2), or to new instances of the same letters in a new font (Experiment 3). Changes to new instances of letters caused considerable cost, in the form of an increase in the reaction time slopes due to string length. The results are consistent with the idea that perceptual processing relies upon the retrieval of prior instances.

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American Journal of Psychology, v. 105, issue 3, p. 435-458