Do handwritten words magnify lexical effects in visual word recognition?
Manuel Perea, Cristina Gil-López, Victoria Beléndez & Manuel Carreiras (2016) Do handwritten words magnify lexical effects in visual word recognition?, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69:8, 1631-1647, DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1091016
An examination of how the word recognition system is able to process handwritten words is fundamental to formulate a comprehensive model of visual word recognition. Previous research has revealed that the magnitude of lexical effects (e.g., the word-frequency effect) is greater with handwritten words than with printed words. In the present lexical decision experiments, we examined whether the quality of handwritten words moderates the recruitment of top-down feedback, as reflected in word-frequency effects. Results showed a reading cost for difficult-to-read and easy-to-read handwritten words relative to printed words. But the critical finding was that difficult-to-read handwritten words, but not easy-to-read handwritten words, showed a greater word-frequency effect than printed words. Therefore, the inherent physical variability of handwritten words does not necessarily boost the magnitude of lexical effects.