Subjects discriminated between sequences of four letters on the basis of the initial letter (a ‘P’ or an ‘R’). Sequences formed one-syllable words or unpronounceable nonwords. All subjects performed four different discriminations (word simple, word filtering, nonword simple, and nonword filtering). Simple discriminations were based on the first letter of a sequence, with all other letters held constant. Filtering tasks required the same discrimination, but also varied the third letter (variation in only the first letter was relevant to response selection). Results showed no differences between any condition in either reaction time or error rate, suggesting that both monosyllabic words and unpronounceable letter sequences were processed by their component letters. Results are consistent with suggestions that unitization differences between visually presented pronounceable and unpronounceable letter sequences may be due to phonemic recoding.
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