Academic journal article Perception and Psychophysics

The Contribution of Rapid Visual and Auditory Processing to the Reading of Irregular Words and Pseudowords Presented Singly and in Contiguity

Academic journal article Perception and Psychophysics

The Contribution of Rapid Visual and Auditory Processing to the Reading of Irregular Words and Pseudowords Presented Singly and in Contiguity

Article excerpt

This study examined the relative involvement of rapid auditory and visual temporal resolution mechanisms in the reading of phonologically regular pseudowords and English irregular words presented both in isolation and in contiguity as a series of six words. Seventy-nine undergraduates participated in a range of reading, visual temporal, and auditory temporal tasks. The correlation analyses suggested a general timing mechanism across modalities. There were more significant correlations between the visual temporal measures and irregular word reading and between the auditory measures and pseudoword reading. Auditory gap detection predicted pseudoword reading accuracies. The low temporal frequency flicker contrast sensitivity measure predicted the accuracies of isolated irregular words and pseudowords presented in contiguity. However, when a combined speed-accuracy score was used, visible persistence at both low and high spatial frequencies and auditory gap detection were active the in the reading of pseudowords presented in contiguity. Sensory processing skills in both visual and auditory modalities accounted for some of the variance in the reading performance of normal undergraduates, not just reading-impaired students.

Many dyslexic and language-impaired participants are impaired in processing sensory events that require precise timing (Heatii, Hogben, & Clark, 1999; Tallal, Stark, & Mellits, 1985; Witton et al., 1998). Since dyslexics are less accurate and slower in detecting the temporal gap that differentiates pairs of patterns presented visually, auditorily, cross-modally (Laasonen, Service, & Virsu, 2002; Meyler & Breznitz, 2005), or intramodally (Rose, Feldman, Jankowski, & Futterweit, 1999), a general temporal deficit across modalities is documented (Becker, Elliott, & Lachman, 2005; Galaburda & Livingstone, 1993; Solan, 2004).

In vision, disabled readers are less sensitive to moving stimuli (Cornelissen & Hansen, 1998; Schulte-Kdrne, Deimel, Bartling, & Remschmidt, 2004; Solan, Hansen, Shelley-Tremblay, & Ficarra, 2003; Talcott et al., 2003; Talcott et al., 2002; Talcott et al., 2000; Wilmer, Richardson, Chen, & Stein, 2004). They perform poorly on visual temporal order judgment (TOJ) (Cacace, McFarland, Ouimet, Schrieber, & Marro, 2000; May, Williams, & Dunlap, 1988). Poor readers also display longer visible persistence at low spatial frequencies (Lovegrove, Heddle, & Slaghuis, 1980; Slaghuis & Lovegrove, 1985), as well as higher gap detection or temporal integration thresholds to visual stimuli presented in rapid succession (Boden & Brodeur, 1999; Martos & Marmolejo, 1993). Although many dyslexic adults and children demonstrate a loss of contrast sensitivity to low spatial frequency and/or high temporal frequency visual stimuli under mesopic, but not photopic, luminance conditions (Cornelissen, Richardson, Mason, Fowler, & Stein, 1995; Demb, Boynton, Best, & Heeger, 1997; Edwards et al., 2004; Gross-Glenn et al., 1995), results in contrast sensitivity studies are less conclusive for die visual defect (Williams, Stuart, Castles, & McAnally, 2003).

In audition, reading-disabled adults and children experience difficulties discriminating die pattern of presentation of tone triads witii short durations (Walker, Shinn, Cranford, Givens, & Holbert, 2002), rapidly presented speech sounds (Kraus et al., 1996), and amplitude-modulated (AM) or frequency-modulated (FM) tones (McAnally & Stein, 1996; Witton, Stein, Stoodley, Rosner, & Talcott, 2002). They also display higher fusion points to separate two auditory temporal stimuli (Hari & Kiesila, 1996; Hautus, Setchell, Waldie, & Kirk, 2003; McCroskey & Kidder, 1980). Poor readers take longer or make more errors when judging die order of two auditory stimuli presented in rapid succession (Heiervang, Stevenson, & Hugdahl, 2002; Mody, Studdert-Kennedy, & Brady, 1997). …

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