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Psychol Rev. 2004 Jul;111(3):662-720.

Computing the meanings of words in reading: cooperative division of labor between visual and phonological processes.

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Department of Information Resources and Technology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5412, USA.


Are words read visually (by means of a direct mapping from orthography to semantics) or phonologically (by mapping from orthography to phonology to semantics)? The authors addressed this long-standing debate by examining how a large-scale computational model based on connectionist principles would solve the problem and comparing the model's performance to people's. In contrast to previous models, the present model uses an architecture in which meanings are jointly determined by the 2 components, with the division of labor between them affected by the nature of the mappings between codes. The model is consistent with a variety of behavioral phenomena, including the results of studies of homophones and pseudohomophones thought to support other theories, and illustrates how efficient processing can be achieved using multiple simultaneous constraints.

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