Effects of lexicality, frequency, and spelling-to-sound consistency on the functional anatomy of reading

Julie A. Fiez, David A. Balota, Marcus E. Raichle, Steven E. Petersent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

315 Scopus citations

Abstract

Functional neuroimaging was used to investigate three factors that affect reading performance: first, whether a stimulus is a word or pronounceable nonword (lexicality), second, how often a word is encountered (frequency), and third, whether the pronunciation has a predictable spelling- to-sound correspondence (consistency). Comparisons between word naming (reading) and visual fixation scans revealed stimulusrelated activation differences in seven regions. A left frontal region showed effects of consistency and lexicality, indicating a role in orthographic to phonological transformation. Motor cortex showed an effect of consistency bilaterally, suggesting that motoric processes beyond high-level representations of word phonology influence reading performance. Implications for the integration of these results into theoretical models of word reading are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-218
Number of pages14
JournalNeuron
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

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