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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As illustrated in this handbook, a substantial body of work now exists that examines which factors and functions affect reading acquisition and reading proficiency, and which brain areas are involved. The converse relationship—namely, which functions and brain areas are affected by literacy—has received far less attention, probably because reading acquisition lags speech and vision by several years and because the crucial comparison of illiterate adults with people who learned to read as adults is difficult to undertake. However, this chapter illustrates that learning to read has profound influences on the processing of spoken language and beyond the domain of language, in particular on visual nonlinguistic perception. The chapter discusses research with literate adults in these areas, including the influence of spelling knowledge on speech perception. It also covers research with illiterate adults and on people who first learned to read as adults.

Keywords: literacy effects, spelling knowledge effects

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