Download: pdf (45 pages; 500 Kb), text
Abstract: We present a theoretical account of letter-by-letter (LBL) reading which reconciles discrepant findings associated with this form of acquired dyslexia. We claim that LBL reading is caused by a deficit that affects the normal activation of the orthographic representation of the stimulus. In spite of this lower-level deficit, the degraded orthographic information may be processed further and lexical, semantic and higher-order orthographic information may still influence the reading patterns of these patients. In support of our position, we present a review of 57 published cases of LBL reading in which we demonstrate that a peripheral deficit was evident in almost all of the patients and that, simultaneously, strong effects of lexical/semantic variables were observed on reading performance. We then go on to report findings from an empirical analysis of seven LBL readers in whom we document the joint effects of lexical variables (word frequency and imageability) and word length on naming latency. We argue that the reading performance of these patients reflects the residual functioning of the same interactive system that supported normal reading premorbidly.
Copyright Notice: The documents distributed here have been provided as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.