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Cognition. 2008 Dec;109(3):389-407. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2008.10.005. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

Elucidating the component processes involved in dyslexic and non-dyslexic reading fluency: an eye-tracking study.

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Department of Psychology (School: Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences), University of Edinburgh, 7 George Square, Edinburgh EH89JZ, UK.


The relationship between rapid automatized naming (RAN) and reading fluency is well documented (see Wolf, M. & Bowers, P.G. (1999). The double-deficit hypothesis for the developmental dyslexias. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(3), 415-438, for a review), but little is known about which component processes are important in RAN, and why developmental dyslexics show longer latencies on these tasks. Researchers disagree as to whether these delays are caused by impaired phonological processing or whether extra-phonological processes also play a role (e.g., Clarke, P., Hulme, C., & Snowling, M. (2005). Individual differences in RAN and reading: a response timing analysis. Journal of Research in Reading, 28(2), 73-86; Wolf, M., Bowers, P.G., & Biddle, K. (2000). Naming-speed processes, timing, and reading: a conceptual review. Journal of learning disabilities, 33(4), 387-407). We conducted an eye-tracking study that manipulated phonological and visual information (as representative of extra-phonological processes) in RAN. Results from linear mixed (LME) effects analyses showed that both phonological and visual processes influence naming-speed for both dyslexic and non-dyslexic groups, but the influence on dyslexic readers is greater. Moreover, dyslexic readers' difficulties in these domains primarily emerge in a measure that explicitly includes the production phase of naming. This study elucidates processes underpinning RAN performance in non-dyslexic readers and pinpoints areas of difficulty for dyslexic readers. We discuss these findings with reference to phonological and extra-phonological hypotheses of naming-speed deficits.

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