Reading Rotated Words

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hebrew-speaking students performed lexical decisions on Hebrew letter strings that appeared at different orientations. Response times evidenced a strong interaction between string length and orientation. At angular deviations of less than 60° from the upright, neither orientation nor string length had any effect, suggesting that words were directly, and probably holistically, recognized. The results for the 60° deviation, while also exhibiting no effects of word length, yielded slower response times, suggesting a holistic rectification process. For deviations between 60° and 120°, the effects of disorientation increased sharply with increasing string length, suggesting piecemeal processing that may be due to the utilization of reading units smaller than the whole word or to piecemeal rectification. In this region, stimulus disorientation appears to impair word recognition by disrupting transgraphemic information rather than by interfering with letter identification. Extreme disorientations, 120° or more, exhibited no further impairment with increased disorientation, and all evidenced strong and similar length effects, suggesting letter-by-letter reading. The implications of the results for the reading of normal and transformed text are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-508
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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