• Examining the relationship between music skills and reading skills

      Arco, Nicole M. (2019-05)
      Word recognition in English has the flexibility to be processed at the lexical level (i.e., whole word) or at the sub-lexical level (e.g., focusing on phonological subunits). With this flexibility, recent research suggests that there are individual differences in reading style that rely more on lexical or sub-lexical processing. However, it is still under investigation as to what contributes to these individual differences or what the differences mean for overall reading procedures. The current study examined musical training as a potential correlate of individual differences in reading style. It is well documented that music, language, and reading share similar cognitive processes, and there is evidence that individuals who have musical training background have better reading outcomes. However, there are still gaps in understanding differences in how musicians process words compared to nonmusicians. In this study, measures of subskills in music and reading were collected, in addition to carrying out tasks that tap into correlates of reading style. Results suggest that while there were no differences in word identification, there was some evidence that musicians have better phonological awareness compared to nonmusicians. Furthermore, results suggest that this enhanced skill could be linked to experience with fine-grain timing required in musical training. Taken together, findings suggest that musical training may indeed be related to improved phonological awareness, but that does not necessarily translate to better word reading, per se.
    • Exploring The Relationship Between Oral and Orthographic Skills in Deaf Individuals

      Huie, Molly K. (2010-03-18)
      This study examines the relationship between speech production skills and orthographic skills in deaf readers using behavioral indices of word form processing. The Reicher- Wheeler forced-choiced paradigm was used to measure the word and pseudoword superiority effects, which are considered to be measures of familiarity with specific words in a language and familiarity with the orthographic rules of a language, respectively. Eleven deaf individuals took part in this study. Participants completed a background questionnaire, the Reicher-Wheeler task, a pronunciation task and several other measures of phonological and orthographic awareness. The scores from these tasks were correlated in order to determine the degree of relationship that exists between oral and orthographic systems. Results indicate that a well developed speech production system is not necessary for the development of a sophisticated orthographic system. Implications for reading education of deaf individuals are discussed.
    • No Influence of Articulatory Suppression on the Word and Pseudoword Superiority Effects

      Stillwell, Monica (2010-03-18)
      In this study, we explored the role of phonological recoding in word and pseudoword superiority effects, previously characterized as pure orthographic effects. Participants were asked to identify letters embedded in briefly presented words, pseudowords, and nonwords, with and without concurrent articulatory suppression. This manipulation had the purpose of occupying the participants’ phonological loop and interfering with the phonological recoding of stimuli in working memory. We predicted that the presence of articulatory suppression would lower accuracy across stimuli, and that this decrease would be more dramatic for pseudowords if participants relied on phonological recoding to perform the task. Word and pseudoword effects were present in both conditions; furthermore, articulatory suppression caused a similar decrease in accuracy for the three types of stimuli. Therefore, word and pseudoword superiority effects were not affected by the lack of phonological recoding. These results suggest that these effects mainly reflect orthographic processing.