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Automatic use of phonological codes during word recognition in deaf signers of Spanish Sign Language.

Gutierrez, Eva and Vergara-Martínez, Marta and Marcet, Ana and Perea, Manuel (2018) 'Automatic use of phonological codes during word recognition in deaf signers of Spanish Sign Language.' FEAST. Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign language Theory, 1. 1 - 15.

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The poor reading skills often found in deaf readers are typically explained on the basis of underspecified print-to-sound mapping and poorer use of spoken phonology. Whilst prior research using explicit phonological tasks has shown that deaf readers can use phonological codes when required, an open question is whether congenitally deaf readers can automatically use phonological codes when reading. We designed a masked sandwich priming experiment to examine whether deaf readers can automatic activate phonological codes during the early stages of lexical processing. 24 deaf participants had to decide whether a target stimulus was a word or not. We also recruited a group of 24 hearing controls. Each target word was preceded by a pseudohomophone or by an orthographic control prime. Results showed faster word identification times in the pseudohomophone than in the control condition (i.e., masked phonological priming). The magnitude of this phonological effect was similar in the two groups, thus supporting the view that phonological codes are automatically activated during word identification. The pattern of correlations of the phonological priming effect with reading ability suggested that the amount of sub-lexical use of phonological information might be a main contributor to reading ability for hearing but not for deaf readers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Deaf readers, phonological processing, reading ability, lexical decision, masked priming, sandwich masked priming
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2021 09:59
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2021 10:15

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