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Book ChapterDOI

The Role of Letter Anatomy in Type Design: An Eye-Tracking Study of Bengali Letters

07 Jan 2021-Vol. 221, pp 3-15

TL;DR: The result indicates that there is an active involvement of letter-parts and features in the letter identification process, and the list of common and distinctive letter features has been prepared to guide the type designers.

AbstractThe elementary unit of letter construction is the basic anatomical features of letterforms. The letter identification is a process of decoding and encoding of the anatomical information of the letters. They are the fundamental components of letter identification. This paper explains the process of Bengali letter identification and reveals the crucial anatomical features for design purposes. Here, an eye-tracking study has been conducted to identify the involvement of letter features in reading. In order to reveal the letter features, we exposed the letters under low contrast conditions to establish the consequence of anatomical features. The objective of the experiment is to identify the important letters features during the reading process that aids the letter identification task. A total number of six participants had performed the task under low contrast condition, and data was captured using an eye-tracking device. The aim of the paper is to understand the role of anatomical features in the letter identification process, so that such information can be useful for the Type designers. Type designers are designers who design typefaces and develop fonts for everyday use. The saccades, fixation, and heat-signature data from eye-tracking study have provided two major sets of information—(1) a list of letter features (individually) involved in the letter identification process, (2) a list of common and unique letter features across all Bengali letters. The result indicates that there is an active involvement of letter-parts and features in the letter identification process, and the list of common and distinctive letter features has been prepared to guide the type designers.

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References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Research on the following topics is reviewed with respect to reading: (a) the perceptual span, (or span of effective vision), (b) preview benefit, (c) eye movement control, and (d) models of eye movements.
Abstract: Eye movements are now widely used to investigate cognitive processes during reading, scene perception, and visual search. In this article, research on the following topics is reviewed with respect to reading: (a) the perceptual span (or span of effective vision), (b) preview benefit, (c) eye movement control, and (d) models of eye movements. Related issues with respect to eye movements during scene perception and visual search are also reviewed. It is argued that research on eye movements during reading has been somewhat advanced over research on eye movements in scene perception and visual search and that some of the paradigms developed to study reading should be more widely adopted in the study of scene perception and visual search. Research dealing with "real-world" tasks and research utilizing the visual-world paradigm are also briefly discussed.

1,772 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An updated version of the E-Z Reader model is provided and it is described how it accounts for basic findings about eye movement control in reading and how the cognitive constructs of this model might map onto this neural architecture.
Abstract: The E-Z Reader model (Reichle et al. 1998; 1999) provides a theoretical framework for understanding how word identification, visual processing, attention, and oculomotor control jointly determine when and where the eyes move during reading. In this article, we first review what is known about eye movements during reading. Then we provide an updated version of the model (E-Z Reader 7) and describe how it accounts for basic findings about eye movement control in reading. We then review several alternative models of eye movement control in reading, discussing both their core assumptions and their theoretical scope. On the basis of this discussion, we conclude that E-Z Reader provides the most comprehensive account of eye movement control during reading. Finally, we provide a brief overview of what is known about the neural systems that support the various components of reading, and suggest how the cognitive constructs of our model might map onto this neural architecture.

783 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that efficiency for letter identification is independent of duration, overall contrast, and eccentricity, and only weakly dependent on size, suggesting that letters are identified by a similar computation across this wide range of viewing conditions.
Abstract: Seeking to understand how people recognize objects, we have examined how they identify letters. We expected this 26-way classification of familiar forms to challenge the popular notion of independent feature detection ("probability summation"), but find instead that this theory parsimoniously accounts for our results. We measured the contrast required for identification of a letter briefly presented in visual noise. We tested a wide range of alphabets and scripts (English, Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Devanagari, Hebrew, and several artificial ones), three- and five-letter words, and various type styles, sizes, contrasts, durations, and eccentricities, with observers ranging widely in age (3 to 68) and experience (none to fluent). Foreign alphabets are learned quickly. In just three thousand trials, new observers attain the same proficiency in letter identification as fluent readers. Surprisingly, despite this training, the observers-like clinical letter-by-letter readers-have the same meager memory span for random strings of these characters as observers seeing them for the first time. We compare performance across tasks and stimuli that vary in difficulty by pitting the human against the ideal observer, and expressing the results as efficiency. We find that efficiency for letter identification is independent of duration, overall contrast, and eccentricity, and only weakly dependent on size, suggesting that letters are identified by a similar computation across this wide range of viewing conditions. Efficiency is also independent of age and years of reading. However, efficiency does vary across alphabets and type styles, with more complex forms yielding lower efficiencies, as one might expect from Gestalt theories of perception. In fact, we find that efficiency is inversely proportional to perimetric complexity (perimeter squared over "ink" area) and nearly independent of everything else. This, and the surprisingly fixed ratio of detection and identification thresholds, indicate that identifying a letter is mediated by detection of about 7 visual features.

371 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Research investigating how words are identified parafoveally (and foveally) in reading is summarized, and the extent to which words are processed at each of the levels of representation is summarized.
Abstract: The present review summarizes research investigating how words are identified parafoveally (and foveally) in reading. Parafoveal and foveal processing are compared when no other concurrent task is required (e.g., in single-word recognition tasks) and when both are required simultaneously (e.g., during reading). We first review methodologies used to study parafoveal processing (e.g., corpus analyses and experimental manipulations, including gaze-contingent display change experiments such as the boundary, moving window, moving mask, and fast priming paradigms). We then turn to a discussion of the levels of representation at which words are processed (e.g., orthographic, phonological, morphological, lexical, syntactic, and semantic). Next, we review relevant research regarding parafoveal processing, summarizing the extent to which words are processed at each of those levels of representation. We then review some of the most controversial aspects of parafoveal processing, as they relate to reading: (1) word skipping, (2) parafoveal-on-foveal effects, and (3) n + 1 and n + 2 preview benefit effects. Finally, we summarize two of the most advanced models of eye movements during reading and how they address foveal and parafoveal processing.

355 citations