Research on morphological processing in reading has shown that skilled readers can rapidly decompose letter strings into morphological units. However, comparatively little research has examined how and when children acquire this important skill.
Here, we examine reading development cross-sectionally and longitudinally in a variety of different languages, including German, French, Italian and English primary school children. The aim of this project is to explore the developmental trajectory of children’s morphological processing skills in visual word recognition and to provide a more fine-tuned theoretical perspective of the mechanisms involved in identifying morphological substructures during reading.
One of the key outcomes of this project has been the development of the word and affix model, which aims to capture the core mechanisms of complex word recognition in skilled readers as well as the developmental trajectory of complex word processing in children.
This project has attracted funding from a number of different funding agencies, including the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), l’Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), and the Australian Research Council (ARC).
One of the primary tools for uncovering the cognitive mechanisms that underlie our ability to read aloud has been the careful investigation of associations and dissociations with cognitive neuropsychological case studies of individuals with acquired dyslexia following brain damage. Making sense of how the reading system might be structured, so that it can be damaged in different ways to give rise to this diversity of reading impairments, has been a major contributor to theory development.
As useful as cognitive neuropsychology has been for developing theories of reading aloud, research has largely focused on uncovering the cognitive mechanisms involved in the reading of morphologically simple words (e.g., paint). Morphologically complex words (e.g., painter) have not bee studied as widely, and as a result, the cognitive underpinnings of complex word reading are still much less understood. The aim of the present project is to bridge this gap by conducting a series of case-studies to examine morphological processing in individuals with acquired dyslexia.
Given that morphological segmentation appears to be a core principle in second language processing, it raises the question of how morphological transfer is handled by the bilingual reading system. Therefore, based on these critical findings from within-language research, we ask whether or not there is any interplay between the morphemic parsing systems across languages.
This project uses a number of sophisticated cross-languages priming paradigms, including the recording of event-related potentials (ERPs) to explore cross-language influences on morphological processing in Turkish-English, Chinese-English, and French-English bilinguals.
This project explores whether and how beginning readers benefit from their spoken language knowledge while learning to read. Children are equipped with a wealth of knowledge from their spoken language when they first begin to read, but we still know little about how this knowledge is used and integrated during written language acquisition. It has been previously shown that oral vocabulary knowledge predicts children’s reading acquisition, but it does not explain the mechanisms by which this integration of the information is achieved.
The aim of the current project is to further explore the mechanism by which orthographic expectations are built during oral word training by testing if orthographic expectancy involves setting up a complex set of orthographic predictions for not just whole words but also stems embedded in words with multiple morphemes.
The use of emojis in digital communication has become increasingly popular, and a growing number of emojis are now widely available across different chat and email platforms. However, the cognitive underpinning of emoji processing, and in particular the question of how emojis are integrated into online reading processes, are not well understood.
This project uses eye-tracking and emoji priming techniques to explore the mechanisms by which readers incorporate the information conveyed by emojis in their reading.
It is important that children reach a level of independence in their reading as quickly as possible, because independent reading is a powerful vehicle for further learning. Once children have some knowledge of grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs), they can begin to decode simple words, and this process of decoding helps form lexical representations in memory. However, words in the English language include numerous words with unpredictable grapheme-phoneme correspondences.
This project explores the mechanisms by which children as well as adults learn to read words with irregular pronunciations, and also examines the effectiveness of systematic, explicit instruction when teaching children to read irregular words.