Native reading direction influences lateral biases in the perception of shape from shading

Smith, Austen, K.
Szelest, Izabela
Friedrich, Trista, E.
Elias, Lorin, J.
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Taylor & Francis

Although neurologically normal individuals often exhibit leftward biases of perception and attention, known as pseudoneglect, factors such as lighting, spatial location and native reading direction have been found to modulate these biases. To investigate lighting and spatial biases in left-to-right and right-to-left readers search times were measured in a target finding task where lighting and target locations were manipulated. Target search times under upper-left lighting were significantly shorter than lower-left, upper-right and lower-right lighting among left-to-right readers. Right-to-left readers did not display the same leftward bias, even displaying significantly shorter search times under upper-right lighting than those of left-to-right readers. Significantly shorter search times for targets located in the upper-left quadrant (compared to other quadrants) were observed for left-to-right readers, while search times for upper-right located targets were significantly shorter for right-to-left readers compared to those of left-to-right readers. Participant scan times of stimuli divided into equal quadrants were monitored by an eye-tracking camera. Both groups displayed greater scan times in upper quadrants. These findings suggest that native reading direction modulates spatial and light perception biases resulting in weaker leftward, or a lack of lateral biases among right-to-left readers.

© 2014 The World Bank. Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
eye tracking, visual attention, pseudoneglect, lighting bias, target finding
Smith, A.K., Szelest, I., Friedrich, T.E., & Elias, L.J. (2014). Native reading direction influences lateral biases in the perception of shape from shading. Laterality, 20(4), 418-433.