There are two potential routes to identifying written words; meanings can be “looked up” directly based on written forms, or written forms can be recoded into phonological (sound-based) codes that are used to access the meanings of words. Developing readers rely heavily on this indirect route, recoding words as they “sound out” the text, but as reading skill increases, heavier reliance on the direct route becomes possible and is presumed to be faster. Despite this, skilled, adult readers still generate phonological codes when reading silently.
Dr. Leinenger (Assistant Professor of Psychology, Denison University) will present eye tracking work investigating the time course and function of phonological code generation in skilled, adult readers, and describe how reliance on the different routes to meaning can vary across individual readers with different relative language skills. Together, the results demonstrate that the cognitive system is flexible and adaptive, and the processes associated with word identification can be adjusted to a given reader’s individual set of language skills to maximize the efficiency of word recognition during reading.
Dr. Leinenger's lecture is part of the Denison Scientific Association (DSA) Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public.