The Effect of Orientation upon Visual Field Asymmetries in the Recognition of Chinese Words
J. Coney
The relationship between visual field asymmetry and the orientation of Chinese words was investigated in the context of a threshold recognition task given to a sample of thirty one Singaporean Chinese. One-, two-, and three-character words were projected to the left or right visual fields in either horizontal or vertical format. A right visual field advantage was observed for all word sizes. The effect of orientation was complex. Performance under left visual field presentation was clearly superior for vertically oriented words. However, for right visual field presentation, performance in horizontal displays was critically dependent on word size. Two-letter words were identified significantly better than three-letter words. Two explanations of these effects were considered and it was concluded that orientation has marked implications for visual field asymmetries in decoding Chinese orthography.

Key words: Chinese characters, orientation, lateral asymmetry, hemispheres