How do figure-like orthographs modulate visual processing of Chinese words?

Che Hin Chan, Ada W.S. Leung, Yue Jia Luo, Tatia M.C. Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of figure-like orthographs on visual processing of Chinese characters were examined using functional imaging in two inspection tasks: counting the number of strokes and categorizing a character as either a word or a nonword. Pictographic orthographs (characters resembling figures) were easier and faster to be inspected than their nonpictographic counterparts (characters not resembling figures) at the stroke but not the character level. The less intense activations found in the frontal and parietal regions suggest that such facilitation could be attributable to the visuospatial symmetry and regularity of the strokes borne by pictographic orthographs. Our findings further support that learning Chinese characters could begin with pictographic orthographs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-761
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007


  • Figure-like features
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Orthographic processing
  • Visual processing of words

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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