Better the DVL you know: Acronyms reveal the contribution of familiarity to single-word reading

Sarah Laszlo, Kara D Federmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Current theories of reading are divided between dual-route accounts, which propose that separable processes subserve word recognition for orthographically regular and irregular strings, and connectionist models, which propose a single mechanism mapping form to meaning. These theories make distinct predictions about the processing of acronyms, which can be orthographically illegal and yet familiar, as compared with the processing of pseudowords, which are regular but unfamiliar. This study examined whether acronyms are processed like pseudowords and words. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded as subjects viewed familiar and unfamiliar acronyms, words, pseudowords, illegal strings, and - as the targets of the substantive behavioral task - proper names. Familiar acronyms elicited repetition effects on the N400 component, a functionally specific index of semantic activation processes; repetition effects for familiar acronyms were similar in magnitude, timing, and scalp distribution to those for words and pseudowords. The similarity of the brain response to familiar-but-illegal and unfamiliar-but-legal classes of stimuli is inconsistent with predictions of dual-route models of reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

Fingerprint

Reading
Neural Networks (Computer)
Scalp
Evoked Potentials
Semantics
Names
Brain
Recognition (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Better the DVL you know : Acronyms reveal the contribution of familiarity to single-word reading. / Laszlo, Sarah; Federmeier, Kara D.

In: Psychological Science, Vol. 18, No. 2, 01.02.2007, p. 122-126.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7ee750462c3e4196a8d311ab6a6ec159,
title = "Better the DVL you know: Acronyms reveal the contribution of familiarity to single-word reading",
abstract = "Current theories of reading are divided between dual-route accounts, which propose that separable processes subserve word recognition for orthographically regular and irregular strings, and connectionist models, which propose a single mechanism mapping form to meaning. These theories make distinct predictions about the processing of acronyms, which can be orthographically illegal and yet familiar, as compared with the processing of pseudowords, which are regular but unfamiliar. This study examined whether acronyms are processed like pseudowords and words. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded as subjects viewed familiar and unfamiliar acronyms, words, pseudowords, illegal strings, and - as the targets of the substantive behavioral task - proper names. Familiar acronyms elicited repetition effects on the N400 component, a functionally specific index of semantic activation processes; repetition effects for familiar acronyms were similar in magnitude, timing, and scalp distribution to those for words and pseudowords. The similarity of the brain response to familiar-but-illegal and unfamiliar-but-legal classes of stimuli is inconsistent with predictions of dual-route models of reading.",
author = "Sarah Laszlo and Federmeier, {Kara D}",
year = "2007",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01859.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "18",
pages = "122--126",
journal = "Psychological Science",
issn = "0956-7976",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Better the DVL you know

T2 - Acronyms reveal the contribution of familiarity to single-word reading

AU - Laszlo, Sarah

AU - Federmeier, Kara D

PY - 2007/2/1

Y1 - 2007/2/1

N2 - Current theories of reading are divided between dual-route accounts, which propose that separable processes subserve word recognition for orthographically regular and irregular strings, and connectionist models, which propose a single mechanism mapping form to meaning. These theories make distinct predictions about the processing of acronyms, which can be orthographically illegal and yet familiar, as compared with the processing of pseudowords, which are regular but unfamiliar. This study examined whether acronyms are processed like pseudowords and words. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded as subjects viewed familiar and unfamiliar acronyms, words, pseudowords, illegal strings, and - as the targets of the substantive behavioral task - proper names. Familiar acronyms elicited repetition effects on the N400 component, a functionally specific index of semantic activation processes; repetition effects for familiar acronyms were similar in magnitude, timing, and scalp distribution to those for words and pseudowords. The similarity of the brain response to familiar-but-illegal and unfamiliar-but-legal classes of stimuli is inconsistent with predictions of dual-route models of reading.

AB - Current theories of reading are divided between dual-route accounts, which propose that separable processes subserve word recognition for orthographically regular and irregular strings, and connectionist models, which propose a single mechanism mapping form to meaning. These theories make distinct predictions about the processing of acronyms, which can be orthographically illegal and yet familiar, as compared with the processing of pseudowords, which are regular but unfamiliar. This study examined whether acronyms are processed like pseudowords and words. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded as subjects viewed familiar and unfamiliar acronyms, words, pseudowords, illegal strings, and - as the targets of the substantive behavioral task - proper names. Familiar acronyms elicited repetition effects on the N400 component, a functionally specific index of semantic activation processes; repetition effects for familiar acronyms were similar in magnitude, timing, and scalp distribution to those for words and pseudowords. The similarity of the brain response to familiar-but-illegal and unfamiliar-but-legal classes of stimuli is inconsistent with predictions of dual-route models of reading.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33947638361&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33947638361&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01859.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01859.x

M3 - Article

C2 - 17425530

AN - SCOPUS:33947638361

VL - 18

SP - 122

EP - 126

JO - Psychological Science

JF - Psychological Science

SN - 0956-7976

IS - 2

ER -