Navon figure

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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.[1] David Navon's research demonstrated that global features are perceived more quickly than local features.[2] Jules Davidoff also performed research, but in a remote culture, finding opposite results; the participants more readily identified the local features.[3] Patients with simultanagnosia have difficulty identifying global features, and when presented with a Navon figure will identify only the local features.[4] In a recent study comparing global-local processing in different races,[5] it was found that East Asians demonstrated significantly stronger global processing than Caucasians.


A letter T (global) composed of repeat copies of the letter S (local).

 SS        SSSSS        SS

The Navon effect[edit]

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.[6][7] The size of the Navon effect has been found to be influenced by the properties of the image.[8] The effect is short lived (lasting less than a couple of minutes).[9]

The Navon effects has also been found in other tasks such as golf putting where reading the small Navon letters leads to poorer putting performance.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Assessing Attention in Unilateral Neglect[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Navon, 1977 cited in (1)
  3. ^ 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. PMID 18662813.
  4. ^ Simultanagnosia, 2009
  5. ^ McKone, E.; Davies, A.A.; Fernando, D.; Aalders, R.; Leung, H.; Wickramariyaratne, T.; Platow, M.J. (July 2010). "Asia has the global advantage: Race and visual attention". Vision Research. 50 (16): 1540–1549. doi:10.1016/j.visres.2010.05.010. PMID 20488198.
  6. ^ Macrae, C. N.; Lewis, H. L. (2002). "Do I know you? Processing orientation and face recognition". Psychological Science. 13 (2): 194–196. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00436. PMID 11934008.
  7. ^ Perfect, Timothy J. (2003-10-01). "Local processing bias impairs lineup performance". Psychological Reports. 93 (2): 393–394. doi:10.2466/pr0.2003.93.2.393. ISSN 0033-2941. PMID 14650660.
  8. ^ Perfect, Timothy J.; Weston, Nicola J.; Dennis, Ian; Snell, Amelia (2008-10-01). "The effects of precedence on Navon-induced processing bias in face recognition". The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 61 (10): 1479–1486. doi:10.1080/17470210802034678. ISSN 1747-0218. PMID 18609403.
  9. ^ Hills, Peter J.; Lewis, Michael B. (2007-04-01). "Temporal limitation of navon effect on face recognition". Perceptual and Motor Skills. 104 (2): 501–509. CiteSeerX doi:10.2466/pms.104.2.501-509. ISSN 0031-5125. PMID 17566440.
  10. ^ Lewis, Michael B.; Dawkins, Gemma (2014-08-08). "Local Navon letter processing affects skilled behavior: A golf-putting experiment" (PDF). Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 22 (2): 420–428. doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0702-6. ISSN 1069-9384.

External links[edit]