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Department of Cognitive Science

Seminar Abstract

Direct routes in reading and writing.

Speaker : Professor Naama Friedmann, School of Education and Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Israel.
Date : 13th of September 2017, 11:00AM until 12:30PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, Level 3, Room 3.610, Macquarie University.

    In this talk I will present the fruits of my collaboration with two CCD members in this visit: Lyndsey Nickels and Max Coltheart. The first part, in collaboration with Lyndsey Nickels, examines whether there is a direct route for writing nonwords between phonological input and orthographic output, or whether it has to go through phonological output. The second part, in collaboration with Max Coltheart, examines whether there is a direct route for reading words between the orthographic input lexicon and the phonological output lexicon, or whether reading words has to go through the semantic system. In part A, direct route for writing, we report on 24 children aged 11-14 with very poor phonological output buffer, who nevertheless ae able to write nonwords normally. These data lead to the conclusion that the phonological output buffer is not necessary when writing nonwords, and that writing nonwords to dictation can proceed directly from the phonological input buffer to the orthographic output buffer. Surveying the models that supported writing through phonological output provided us a surprising insight as to the effect of graphic metaphors on our thinking, which I will share with you in the talk. In part B, the direct non-semantic route for reading, we bring data from 3 individuals with impairments in the semantic route to show that reading via the lexical route can directly proceed from the orthographic input lexicon to the phonological output lexicon without going through the semantic system. We report on 2 aphasic patients and one adolescent with a developmental semantic impairment. We tested their reading, naming, and comprehension of individuals who have selective impairments in certain loci in the semantic route. One of them shows a deficit in the connection between the semantic system and the phonological output lexicon, and the other two have a deficit in the semantic system itself. Given these impairments in the semantic route, their good reading of irregular words can only be explained if the direct lexical route exists that directly connects the orthographic input lexicon and the phonological output lexicon without going through semantics. We then complete this study with data from 100 cases of individuals whose semantic route is intact, as well as their orthographic input lexicon and phonological output lexicon, but who make regularization errors in reading aloud irregular words (pronouncing the t in "listen") and potentiophones (read "phase" as "face" and "none" sounding like "known"). This pattern can only be explained by a deficit in the direct lexical route. These results combined provide evidence for the existence of a direct lexical nonsemantic route.

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