Reflection decisions on alphanumeric characters display systematic effects of disorientation, suggesting that subjects mentally rotate the stimulus to the upright (the uprighting process). However, response time also increases with increasing angular disparity between the current and preceding orientations. This occurs only when the current stimulus is a rotational transform of the preceding stimulus, suggesting that the current stimulus is brought into congruence with the preceding one (the backward alignment process). In the present study, we examined the hypothesis that the transformation that occurs in backward alignment is holistic even in tasks in which the uprighting process is likely to be piecemeal. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is presented on the basis of tasks requiring either classification of numbers (Experiments 1 and 3) and words (Experiment 2), or mirror image discrimination on letter pairs (Experiment 4). The results indicated that backward alignment establishes global correspondence between successive stimuli and is indifferent to local correspondence at the level of the constituent elements. The establishment of this global correspondence decreases with the number of elements in the stimulus (Experiment 5), but its effects are still observed for four-letter strings (Experiment 6).
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition|
|State||Published - May 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language