The impact of reader skill on phonological processing in visual word recognition

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There has been much debate about the role of phonology in reading. This debate has been fuelled, in part, by mixed findings for phonological effects in lexical decision tasks. In the present research we investigated the impact of reader skill on three phonological effects (homophone, homograph, and regularity effects) in a lexical decision task and in a phonological lexical decision task. In both tasks, the more skilled readers showed different patterns of phonological effects from those of the less skilled readers; in particular, less skilled readers showed regularity effects in both tasks whereas more skilled readers did not. We concluded that more skilled readers activate phonology in these tasks but do so more efficiently, with less spurious phonological activation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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