Human perception of a visual scene is hierarchically organized

Human perception of a visual scene is hierarchically organized. Such rapid, albeit coarse, global processing allows people to create a useful context in which local details can be successively allocated. Lack of the typical hierarchical global-to-local visual processing is longitudinally predictive of future reading difficulties in pre-readers, which suggests that an atypical local perception can interfere with reading skill acquisition (Fig. A). Global and local Navon tasks were used to induce a transient perceptual priming before a reading-aloud task (Fig. B). We tested the effect of an atypical local perception on lexical and sublexical reading routes in typical adult readers. Local (vs. global) priming resulted in a slower phonological access to irregular, relative to regular, words. By contrast, pseudoword reading was not affected by local (vs. global) perceptual priming (Fig. C). Our findings demonstrate that, in typical adult readers, local priming impairs the fast processing of the letter string useful for lexical reading.
Franceschini, S., Bertoni, S., Puccio, G. et al. Local perception impairs the lexical reading route. Psychological Research (2020).