Practice effects on the unit of word recognition

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Component processing in a word recognition task should be indicated by longer latencies with increased word length. This should not be observed if holistic processing is used. In the present study, mirror-image animal and nonanimal words of 3-6 letters were presented to 30 undergraduates in a reaction time categorization task. A significant interaction of Word Length by Block was found for words presented over all 4 blocks, and no interaction was found for words seen in only 1 block. A shift from component to holistic processing was found for the repeated words. The decrease in slope associated with word length suggested that with repeated exposure to a word, there is an increase in the size of the processing unit used in word recognition. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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