Case Studies in the Neuropsychology of Reading

Case Studies in the Neuropsychology of Reading

Case Studies in the Neuropsychology of Reading

Case Studies in the Neuropsychology of Reading


Each chapter represents a personal account of a reading disorder through which details of the features of the disorder, methods used for testing, and theoretical accounts are illustrated. Controversies are explained, theories evaluated and anomalies pointed out.
From this emerges a picture of the central properties of each disorder and the contribution of each to our understanding of the reading system as a whole. However, the picture is not complete: loose threads tantalise, some findings are hard to explain, and some newly controversial theories are put forward. The intention is to provide information that will help to equip the reader with the knowledge and expertise necessary to take the study of these reading disorders forward.


Elaine Funnell Royal Holloway University of London, UK

Far from abating, after a century of research, the interest in the psychology of reading continues to grow. One might, perhaps, have expected that a learned skill, such as reading, which is superimposed on more basic cognitive mechanisms, would have yielded its secrets long ago. But new questions continue to be asked; new journals on reading continue to appear; undergraduates continue to hone their research skills by carrying out experiments on reading; and research projects on reading continue to attract funding.

One reason for this lively interest is that the understanding of reading processes is not after all a readily tractable problem. Another is that, as the search for understanding has continued, new theoretical questions, methodological issues, and technological advances have evolved to challenge current thinking. Now, the different approaches to reading behaviour—adult skilled reading, reading development, acquired and developmental dyslexia—traditionally considered to be independent issues, are intertwined. Computer simulations of reading processes are available to mimic normal reading performance based on particular theoretical positions; and subsequent damage to the system can be used to test theories of dyslexia. Functional brain imaging studies of normal and impaired reading can be used to examine brain correlates of normal and impaired reading.

As a result of this activity, theories of reading processes and reading development, and the methods used to investigate reading, have become more sophisticated. It is not a simple matter to step freshly into the area of reading and carry out research. The complexities of the reading stimuli employed and the theoretical implications of their use have to be appreciated; the nuances of the different theoretical positions have to be understood. This is not easy, particularly for those entering the world of reading from another discipline, since the work is spread over many articles, in many different sources, published over many years.

The purpose of this book is to provide an accessible, up-to-date review of work on the main forms of acquired dyslexia and one form of developmental dyslexia—developmental surface dyslexia. The review is presented through the discussion of case studies selected to represent important milestones in . . .

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