Effect of phonetic complexity on word reading and repetition in deep dyslexia
This investigation moves beyond the traditional studies of word reading to identify how the production complexity of words affects reading accuracy in an individual with deep dyslexia (JO). We examined JO’s ability to read words aloud while manipulating both the production complexity of the words and the semantic context. The classification of words as either phonetically simple or complex was based on the Index of Phonetic Complexity. The semantic context was varied using a semantic blocking paradigm (i.e., semantically blocked and unblocked conditions). In the semantically blocked condition words were grouped by semantic categories (e.g., table, sit, seat, couch), whereas in the unblocked condition the same words were presented in a random order. JO’s performance on reading aloud was also compared to her performance on a repetition task using the same items. Results revealed a strong interaction between word complexity and semantic blocking for reading aloud but not for repetition. JO produced the greatest number of errors for phonetically complex words in semantically blocked condition. This interaction suggests that semantic processes are constrained by output production processes which are exaggerated when derived from visual rather than auditory targets. This complex relationship between orthographic, semantic, and phonetic processes highlights the need for word recognition models to explicitly account for production processes.
from the Journal of Neurolinguistics