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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lexical processing skill in college-age resilient readers

  • Author(s): Welcome, SE
  • Chiarello, C
  • Halderman, LK
  • Leonard, CM
  • et al.

Despite an extensive literature linking individual differences in phonological processing to reading ability, some adults show normal text comprehension abilities despite poor pseudoword reading (Jackson & Doellinger (2002). Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 64-78). This study was undertaken to investigate differences between these individuals, termed resilient readers, and proficient readers in performance and degree of lateralization on a variety of single word processing tasks. Participants completed seven divided visual field tasks investigating various aspects of reading. Resilient readers performed less accurately on basic word recognition tasks, but not on the tasks involving semantic access. Resilient readers did not differ from proficient readers on reaction time or lateralization on any of the experimental tasks. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that skilled phonological decoding is not necessary for reading for meaning in a college population. It is proposed that higher-level semantic information and general world knowledge may allow some readers to compensate for deficiencies in lower-level word recognition processes. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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