Naming acronyms : the influence of reading context in skilled reading and surface dyslexia

PLAYFOOT, David, TREE, Jeremy J. and IZURA, Cristina (2014). Naming acronyms : the influence of reading context in skilled reading and surface dyslexia. Aphasiology, 28 (12), 1448-1463.

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Background: Within dual route models of reading, words with regular spelling to sound correspondences can be read successfully using lexical or non-lexical reading processes. Research has indicated that which of these pathways is used is influenced by the other items that form the presentation context. We extend these findings using acronym stimuli as targets, presenting them in contexts designed to cue reading through grapheme phoneme conversion or letter naming.

Method: In experiment 1, undergraduate participants (n = 30) read aloud stimuli presented onscreen. Response times and accuracy for target acronyms ambiguous in their print to pronunciation conversion (e.g. HIV versus NASA) were compared between two contexts. In one condition the majority of items were unambiguous acronyms (e.g. BBC). In the second condition, the non-target items were regular words (e.g. CAT). Experiment 2 administered the same reading task to a single case of semantic dementia.

Results: A significant interaction between presentation context and acronym pronunciation was observed, such that responses were faster and more accurate to items that were pronounced in the same way as the majority of other stimuli in the list. Similar, though more dramatic, context effects were observed in a case of semantic dementia.

Conclusions: We argue that context effects are pervasive in reading research and that presentation context should be considered when interpreting future findings, particularly in cases of aphasia and dyslexia.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1448-1463
Depositing User: David Playfoot
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 10:35
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 07:54

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