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Brain Lang. 1992 Oct;43(3):400-13.

Dissociation of mechanisms of reading in Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Speech and Hearing, George Washington University, Washington, DC.


The role of spelling-to-sound correspondence rules in oral word reading was investigated by asking patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and normal controls to read aloud pronounceable letter strings that do not happen to be real words. These pseudowords were of two types: those that have orthographically similar "neighbors," and those that have no neighbors. The patients with AD were mildly impaired relative to the normal controls in reading pseudowords with neighbors, but were markedly impaired in reading pseudowords with no neighbors. The results are interpreted as favoring a model of reading in which words and pseudowords are normally read via the same lexical mechanism. An ancillary route involving the conscious application of spelling-to-sound rules is available only to cognitively intact readers.

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