In this study, we investigated whether the processing of written words leads to a preferential coding of word beginnings and whether this coding occurs in the context of word representations that are spatial in nature and depend on the orientation of the actual stimuli. Two experiments were carried out wherein participants were asked to press a left or right key, in accordance with a nonspatiai feature of standard-oriented or mirror-reversed wordlike stimuli (words and pronounceable nonwords). Both experiments showed an effect of correspondence between position of the beginning part of the stimuli and position of the required response (i.e., a Simon-like effect): Responses to standard-oriented stimuli were faster with the left key, whereas responses to mirror-reversed stimuli were faster with the right key. The present findings indicate for the first time that, in reading, the direction of script is automatically processed and the position of the word beginning is coded before the orthographic lexicon is accessed.
Spatial coding of word-initial letters: Evidence from a Simon-like task / Treccani, Barbara; Cubelli, R; DELLA SALA, S; Umiltà, C.. - In: PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW. - ISSN 1069-9384. - 15:1(2008), pp. 168-173. [10.3758/PBR.15.1.168]