Psychological Research

, Volume 72, Issue 6, pp 657–665

The initial capitalization superiority effect in German: evidence for a perceptual frequency variant of the orthographic cue hypothesis of visual word recognition

  • Arthur M. Jacobs
  • Hans-Christoph Nuerk
  • Ralf Graf
  • Mario Braun
  • Tatjana A. Nazir
Original Article


A perceptual frequency variant of the orthographic cue (OC) hypothesis (Peressotti, Cubelli, & Job, 2003) was tested in two perceptual identification experiments using the variable viewing position technique: German nouns and non-nouns that are most frequently perceived with or without initial letter capitalization, respectively, were tachistoscopically presented in upper-case, lower-case, or with initial capitalization. The results indicated that words were best recognized in the form they are most frequently perceived in, which suggests that during reading acquisition abstract as well as case- and item-specific OCs may be learned and used for recognition.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur M. Jacobs
    • 1
  • Hans-Christoph Nuerk
    • 2
  • Ralf Graf
    • 3
  • Mario Braun
    • 1
  • Tatjana A. Nazir
    • 4
  1. 1.Arbeitsbereich Allgemeine und Neurokognitive Psychologie, Fachbereich Erziehungswissenschaft und PsychologieFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Universität TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Katholische Universität Eichstätt-IngolstadtEichstättGermany
  4. 4.Institut des Sciences Cognitives, CNRSLyonFrance

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