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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Visual word recognition is an integral aspect of reading. Although readers are able to recognize visually presented words with apparent ease, the processes that map orthography onto phonology and semantics are far from straightforward. In the present chapter, we discuss the cognitive processes that skilled readers use in order to recognize and pronounce individual words. After a historical overview of the broad theoretical developments in this rich field, we provide a description of methods and a selective review of the empirical literature, with an emphasis on how the recognition of an isolated word is modulated by its lexical- and semantic-level properties and by its context. Finally, we briefly consider some recent approaches and analytic tools in visual word recognition research, including megastudies, analysis of response time distributions, and the important role of individual differences.

Keywords: visual word recognition, lexical decision, speeded pronunciation, masked priming, semantic priming, orthographic priming, phonological priming, megastudies, individual differences, response time distributional analyses

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