Phonology, Reading Acquisition, and Dyslexia: Insights
from Connectionist Models
Psychological Review, 106, 491-528
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The development of reading skill and bases of
developmental dyslexia were explored using connectionist models. Four
issues were examined: the acquisition of phonological knowledge prior
to reading, how this knowledge facilitates learning to read,
phonological and non phonological bases of dyslexia, and effects of
literacy on phonological representation. Compared with simple
feedforward networks, representing phonological knowledge in an
attractor network yielded improved learning and generalization.
Phonological and surface forms of developmental dyslexia, which are
usually attributed to impairments in distinct lexical and nonlexical
processing ``routes,'' were derived from different types of damage to
the network. The results provide a computationally explicit account
of many aspects of reading acquisition using connectionist
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