Spatially determined deficits in letter and word processing

Brenda C. Rapp, Alfonso Caramazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We describe the performance of a brain-damaged subject, HR, whose reading performance can be described as letter-by-letter reading. On a number of experimental tasks she exhibited deficits in letter and bar detection. Her performance in these tasks indicated that her impairment in nonlexical letter detection tasks is spatially determined. We interpret the results within a multi-stage model of prelexical visual/perceptual processing. Within such a model, the impairments can be attributed to deficits at retino-centric and stimulus-centred levels of representation. We explain HR's letter-by-letter reading performance in terms of these deficits. In addition, we attempt to account for the differences in reading performance among patients with spatially determined deficits in terms of the proposed multi-stage model of word recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-311
Number of pages37
JournalCognitive neuropsychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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