The Role of Information in Visual Word Recognition: A Perceptually-Constrained Connectionist Account

Raquel G. Alhama, Noam Siegelman, Ram Frost, Blair C. Armstrong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Proficient readers typically fixate near the center of a word, with a slight bias towards word onset. We explore a novel account of this phenomenon based on combining information-theory with perceptual constraints in a connectionist model of visual word recognition. This account posits that the amount of information-content available for word identification varies across fixation locations and across languages. These differences contribute to the overall fixation location bias in different languages, make the novel prediction that certain words are more readily identified when fixating at an atypical fixation location, and predict specific cross-linguistic differences. We tested these predictions across several simulations in English and Hebrew, and in a behavioral experiment. The results confirmed that the bias to fixate closer to word onset aligns with reducing uncertainty in the visual signal, that some words are more readily identified at atypical fixation locations, and that these effects vary across languages.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Subtitle of host publicationCreativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages83-89
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)0991196775, 9780991196777
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Creativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 24 Jul 201927 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Creativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019

Conference

Conference41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Creativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period24/07/1927/07/19

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cognitive Science Society: Creativity + Cognition + Computation, CogSci 2019.All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • computational modelling
  • connectionism
  • fixation location
  • information theory
  • visual word recognition

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