The spatial coding model of visual word identification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

292 Citations (Scopus)


Visual word identification requires readers to code the identity and order of the letters in a word and match this code against previously learned codes. Current models of this lexical matching process posit context-specific letter codes in which letter representations are tied to either specific serial positions or
specific local contexts (e.g., letter clusters). The spatial coding model described here adopts a different approach to letter position coding and lexical matching based on context-independent letter representations. In this model, letter position is coded dynamically, with a scheme called spatial coding. Lexical
matching is achieved via a method called superposition matching, in which input codes and learned codes are matched on the basis of the relative positions of their common letters. Simulations of the model illustrate its ability to explain a broad range of results from the masked form priming literature, as well
as to capture benchmark findings from the unprimed lexical decision task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-758
Number of pages45
JournalPsychological Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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