A Navon figure is made of a larger recognisable shape, such as a letter, composed of copies of a smaller different shape. Navon figures are used in tests of visual neglect. David Navon's research demonstrated that global features are perceived more quickly than local features. Jules Davidoff also performed research, but in a remote culture, finding opposite results; the participants more readily identified the local features. Patients with Simultanagnosia have difficulty identifying global features, and when presented with a Navon figure will identify only the local features. In a recent study comparing global-local processing in different races, it was found that East Asians demonstrated significantly stronger global processing than Caucasians.
A letter T (global) composed of letter S
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS SS SSSSS SS SSSSS SSSSS SSSSS SSSSS SSSSS SSSSS SSSSSSS SSSSSSSSSSSSS
Reading Navon figures has been found to affect a range of tasks. It has been shown that just 5 minutes reading out the small letters of Navon figures has a detrimental effect on face recognition although this effect is short lived. Reading the large letter appears to have no effect. Similar detrimental effects of reading the small letters have been shown for wine tasting and golf performance. Explanations for these findings have been based on global precedence.
- Assessing Attention in Unilateral Neglect
- Navon, 1977 cited in (1)
- Davidoff, J.; E. Fonteneau; J. Fagot (Sep 2008). "Local and global processing: Observations from a remote culture". Cognition 108 (3): 702–709. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2008.06.004.
- Simultanagnosia, 2009
- Macrae, C. N., & Lewis, H. L. (2002). Do I know you? Processing orientation and face recognition. Psychological Science, 13(2), 194-196.
- Hills, P.J. & Lewis, M.B. (2007). Temporal limitation of Navon effect on face recognition. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 104, 501-509.
- Lewis, M.B., Seeley, J. & Miles, C. (2009). Processing Navon letters can make wine taste different. Perception, 38, 1341-1346.
- Lewis, M.B. & Dawkins, G. (in press). Local Navon letter processing affects skilled behaviour: A golf-putting experiment. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
- Nature Neuroscience 9, 740 - 742 (2006) Published online: 14 May 2006 | doi:10.1038/nn1709
- David Navon, Forest before trees: The precedence of global features in visual perception Cognitive Psychology Volume 9, Issue 3, July 1977, Pages 353-383