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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Understanding the mechanisms underlying skilled reading is at the center of modern psycholinguistics, and has been a topic of considerable interest since the beginnings of psychology as a scientific discipline. This article considers some of the theoretical and empirical issues that have shaped our understanding of one specific aspect of skilled reading—the recognition of single printed words—focusing in particular on aspects of this problem which are the subject of significant recent inquiry. It begins with a term used in early psycholinguistic theories to denote a mental dictionary thought to package together all of the orthographic (spelling), semantic (meaning), and phonological (pronunciation) information about known words: the mental lexicon. After discussing a theory of visual word recognition that consists of multiple levels of orthographic representation, the article looks at the interactive-activation model, neighborhood effects, masked form priming effects, and word recognition and the reading system.

Keywords: visual word recognition, orthographic representation, interactive-activation model, neighborhood effects, priming effects, reading, psycholinguistics, printed words, mental lexicon

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