ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2010, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (06): 683-694.

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The Effect of Character’s Whole Recognition on the Processing of Components in the Processes of Chinese Characters

LUO Yan-Lin;WANG Peng;LI Xiu-Jun;SHI Ya-Qi;CHEN Mo;WANG Pei-Pei;HU Shi-Xiu;LUO Yue-Jia   

  1. (1 Department of Neurobiology, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China)
    (2 Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2009-03-31 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2010-06-30 Online:2010-06-30
  • Contact: LUO Yan-Lin

Abstract: The word superiority effect is an important evidence that whole word processing facilitates letter processing in English word recognition. However, such effect still remains controversial in Chinese character recognition. In this study, two experiments were carried out to explore the effect of Chinese whole character recognition over component processing. There was manipulation of three types of stimuli: real characters, pseudo characters and radical characters, only right-left or up-down structures of which are chosen. The target radicals could be placed either at the left or the right (either the up or the down) side of the three types of character stimuli. Reicher-Wheeler task was used in experiment 1. The stimuli were presented for 350ms, followed by a mask for 200ms, then two radicals for 1700ms. The participants were asked to choose the target radical in the two radicals. Radical judgment task was performed in experiment 2. The target radical was presented for 350ms, followed by three types of stimuli. Participants were asked to judge whether the stimuli character contained the target radical or not. The reaction time and the error rate were recorded by the computer. Twenty-seven healthy female college students participated in this study. The results were as the following: 1) In both experiments, the reaction time of radical judgment in the radical character condition was shorter than the real characters and the pseudo characters. Word superiority effect was found in radical characters. Compared with the pseudo characters, no word superiority effect was found in real characters. These findings indicated that Chinese character’s whole recognition blocked radical processing. 2) The reaction time of left-right structure characters was shorter than that of the up-down ones. That is to say, the structure effect was significant in Chinese characters. 3) The spatial position of radicals in a stimulus had a significant influence on radical recognition. The position effect was found across three kinds of characters. The reaction time of the left radicals was the shortest and the reaction time of the down radicals was the longest among four positions in the three types of characters.

Key words: Chinese character processing, word superiority effect, structure effect, radical spatial position