Visual Perception of Print
Fluent reading is a process of scanning words to obtain meaning. The eyes function to produce visual signals for the brain to interpret. Earlier chapters have indicated the importance of a language base for gaining meaning from print, of auditory perception that provides a bridge between hearing words and comprehending them. When children are beginning to read, they spend time and energy learning to discriminate visual differences. Even earlier, they learn to focus on the printed page with the vague idea that the strange marks they see have a kind of magic locked inside - the fascination of stories they ask to hear again and again. Vision is the result of an intricate process that transforms the retinal image in the eye into a perception in the brain. Retinal stimulation from the right visual field arrives in the visual cortex of the left hemisphere. Directional preference refers to the tendency of individuals to scan in left-to-right or right-to-left order.