Carol Whitney
U Maryland

What can Visual Word Recognition Tell us about Visual Object Recognition?

Tuesday 01st of August 2006 at 12:00pm
5101 Tolman

The SERIOL model addresses the problem of how the brain encodes the sequence of letters in a written word. It provides a neurobiologically plausible account of how the initial retinotopic representation of a string is progressively converted into an abstract, location-invariant encoding of letter order, and has led to new accounts of visual half-field asymmetries in lexical decision, which have been experimentally confirmed. In the model, location-invariance is achieved by mapping space into time. That is, the retinotopic encoding is converted into a temporal encoding. Relative timing of firing of letter pairs is then used to activate bigram representations. If indeed the brain uses such mechanisms in visual word recognition, they would have to be derived from the mechanisms normally used in visual object recognition. I will discuss how this approach could be extended to object recognition in general, and touch upon some data from the literature that are consistent with this proposal.

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