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When reading misfires: the case for letter confusability

Reading is vital to every aspect of modern life, exacerbated by reliance of the internet, email, and social media on the written medium. During reading, letters comprising a word are recognised, combined, and converted into meaning and sound. Letter confusability refers to how visually similar different letters are to each other (“v-w” is more confusable than “v-l”). Confusability affects readability, as observed in reading errors and processing speed of dyslexic individuals.

This research depends on confusability ratings between a target letter and other letters of the alphabet, and current resources are insufficient.

This project will: (1) develop confusion matrices that precisely capture letter similarity for lower and upper case; (2) use visual distortion to filter out attributes critical in letter processing to test which letters are susceptible to confusion.

These matrices will constitute a valuable new resource for studies in letter perception and reading processes in skilled and dyslexic readers.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Daniel Roberts

Related Research Group(s)

brain scan

Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience - Fundamental and applied research into brain function using techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), eye-tracking, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), infrared thermography together with psychophysics and cognitive behavioural paradigms in health and disease.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 21/11/2023