facilitation of word recognition ( Stanovich, 1986; Stanovich, Nathan, West, & Vala-Rossi, 1985; Stanovich & West, 1983).
The results of our studies converge in an interesting way with the twin studies of component subskills of word recognition reported by Olson et al. (1990). Those investigators demonstrated that the linkage between phonological skill and word recognition ability in a dyslexic sample seemed to have a high heritability, whereas the linkage between orthographic processing ability and word recognition skill in the dyslexic children seemed to be due to largely nonheritable factors. Olson et al. (1990) pointed to differences in the amount of print exposure as one potential environmental determinant of the orthographic processing abilities linked to reading skill. We have provided evidence that print exposure may indeed be creating environmentally linked orthographic variance not tied to the (possibly heritable) phonological processing differences. Further research is needed to elucidate the nature of orthographic processing differences that cannot be linked to print exposure.
In this and further studies on print exposure that we are carrying out, we hope to at least partially specify the boundaries of influence of the phonological processing skills that are now the foundation of theorizing about individual differences in reading acquisition -- a foundation built in large part on the seminal and original work of Isabelle Liberman.
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