When stimuli are presented in pattern-postmasked displays, performance is better for words than for isolated letters. Contemporary accounts of this word advantage emphasize the role played by mask contours that overlay the positions of letters in each stimulus; however, the precise effect of these overlying mask contours has never been empirically determined. The role of overlying and flanking (falling to the left and right of each word and isolated letter) mask contours in the word advantage over isolated letters was examined. A word advantage was obtained only when more flanking mask contours were shown with isolated letters than with words; when masks covered only the positions of letters in each stimulus, and thus no flanking mask contours were presented, the word advantage was removed or reversed. Implications for contemporary accounts of the word advantage over isolated letters are discussed.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1993|