Lexical processing across the visual field

Aaron Veldre*, Erik D. Reichle, Lili Yu, Sally Andrews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


This article reports six experiments in which participants made speeded binary decisions about letter strings that were displayed for 100 versus 300 ms at different retinal eccentricities in the left versus right visual field to examine how these variables and task demands influence word-identification accuracy and latency. Across the experiments, lexical-processing performance decreased with eccentricity, but to a lesser degree for words displayed in the right visual field, replicating previous reports. However, the effect of eccentricity was attenuated for the two tasks that required "deep" semantic judgments (e.g., discriminating words that referenced animals vs. objects) relative to the tasks that required "shallow" letter and/or lexical processing (e.g., detecting words containing a pre-specified target letter, discriminating words from nonwords). These results suggest that lexical and supra-lexical knowledge play a significant role in supporting lexical processing, especially at greater eccentricities, thereby allowing readers to extend the visual span, or region of effective letter processing, into the perceptual span, or region of useful information extraction. The broader theoretical implications of these findings are discussed in relation to existing and future models of reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649–671
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • eye movements
  • perceptual span
  • reading
  • word identification


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