Length, formats, neighbours, hemispheres, and the processing of words presented laterally or at fixation.Brain Lang. 2004 Mar; 88(3):355-66.BL
It has long been known that the number of letters in a word has more of an effect on recognition speed and accuracy in the left visual field (LVF) than in the right visual field (RVF) provided that the word is presented in a standard, horizontal format. After considering the basis of the length by visual field interaction two further differences between the visual fields/hemispheres are discussed: (a) the greater impact of format distortion (including case alternation) in the RVF than in the LVF and (b) the greater facilitation of lexical decision by orthographic neighbourhood size (N) in the LVF than in the RVF. In the context of split fovea accounts of word recognition, evidence is summarised which indicates that the processing of words presented at fixation is affected by the number of letters to the left of fixation but not by the number of letters to the right and by the number of orthographic neighbours activated by letters to the left of fixation but not by the number of orthographic neighbours activated by letters to the right of fixation. A model of word recognition is presented which incorporates the notion that the left hemisphere has sole access to a mode of word recognition that involves parallel access from letter forms to the visual input lexicon, is disrupted by format distortion, and does not employ top-down support of the letter level by the word level.