[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: [xmca] When does an action begin and end?: font characteristics vsword meaning

Hi Steve, 
This is the classic Stroop test. I had some of my grad students in
psycholinguistics use it this summer - there is a bit more to it, but
essentially we found that younger children have less difficulty (grade 2
and below for example) than older children and that adults have the most
difficulty. This was more of a fun experiment in understanding the ways
the brain lays down its neural pathways such that, while plastic, the
brain lays down some pretty formidable dendritic connections with regard
to attention. 

The left-brain right brain stuff feeds into neuromyths on the workings
of the brain, by the way.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of Steve Gabosch
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 3:07 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] When does an action begin and end?: font
characteristics vsword meaning

Attached below is a chart I found on the internet some time ago that
seems relevant to the problem discussed the other week of understanding
Leontiev's claim that the physical characteristics of a text font can be
relatively unconscious to a reader unless something calls specific
attention to them.

In this chart, color words like YELLOW, BLUE, RED are printed on a chart
using font colors that are different from the word.  The challenge is to
look at each word in the chart and say the **color**  
of the font, and ignore the color **word** that the letters form.   
Compare this challenge with doing the opposite, saying the word being
formed, and ignoring the font color.  The latter will probably seem

This appears to demonstrate that, for some or perhaps many, it is easier
to read the words and ignore the font color than it is to notice the
color of the font and ignore the word meaning.  To do the  
latter seems to take special concentration.   Persons affected by this  
chart in this manner seem to need .  Perhaps this could be seen as a
demonstration of Leontiev's point.  In some ways, it seems to go even

In any case, it is surprising to observe how the meaning of a **word**
can disrupt and least some people's ability to immediately and
consistently correctly notice and state the color of the **font** (what
Leontiev calls the "outward aspect of the text").  The symbolic content
of the words seems to overshadow the physical characteristics of the
font unless the reader makes a special effort to focus on these physical
characteristics specifically.  The use of color in this situation seems
to exaggerate this general phenomenon.

xmca mailing list