Left-right word recognition asymmetries in central and peripheral vision

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Word recognition for Western languages shows an increased probability of a correct response when words are presented to the right of fixation. We considered whether this right bias was consistent at eccentricities superior and inferior to fixation and whether this bias can be altered by different presentation strategies. A right bias of up to ∼0.9° to the right of fixation was found when words were presented along one horizontal meridian. The eccentricities tested extended up to 8° above and below the point of fixation. However, the right bias was reduced for stimulus conditions where the word was randomly presented within a mosaic containing all possible presentation locations. We have therefore demonstrated that reading habit (right bias) can be manipulated based upon experimental paradigm, strongly supporting the proposition that the left-right asymmetry is a consequence of attending to a particular area of visual space as part of the normal reading habit, rather than an innate superiority for word recognition of the right visual field or reduced visual performance. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Battista, J., & Kalloniatis, M. (2002). Left-right word recognition asymmetries in central and peripheral vision. Vision Research, 42(12), 1583–1592. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0042-6989(02)00075-5

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