Word recognition is one of the basic processes involved in reading. In this connection, a model for word recognition is proposed consisting of a perceptual and a decision stage. It is supposed that, in the perceptual stage, the formation of possible words proceeds by separate identification of each of the letters of the stimulus word in their positions. Letter perception is taken to be conditional on position because of interaction effects from neighboring letters. These effects are dependent on both position in the word and retinal eccentricity, which are of particular relevance in reading. The letter-based approach rests on the strong relationship between the results from single-letter recognition in meaningless strings and in real words. Next, in the decision step, the many alternatives generated in the perceptual stage are matched with a vocabulary of real words. It is supposed that the final choice from among the remaining words is made in accordance with the constant ratio rule; frequency effects are not separately incorporated in the model. All predictions of the model are generated by means of data from earlier experiments. Despite being not optimally suited for this purpose, the predictions compare favorably with responses in word-recognition experiments.
Bouwhuis, D. G., & Bouma, H. (1979). Visual word recognition of three-letter words as derived from the recognition of the constituent letters. Perception & Psychophysics, 25(1), 12-22. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03206104