What does rapid automatized naming measure? A new RAN task compared to naming and lexical decision

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The present research investigated the relationship between Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) performance, letter-string reading measures of sight vocabulary (SV) and phonetic decoding (PD), and lexical decision. Criterion-based naming rates were obtained from three types of RAN tasks: digits, letters, and letter sounds. Latency measures were obtained from the naming of regular words, exception words, nonwords and pseudohomophones; as well as button press and verbal lexical decision tasks. Regression analyses supported the hypotheses that RAN-Letters latency reflects SV processing in that its variance is uniquely accounted for by exception word naming latency and button press lexical decision latency, and that RAN-Letter Sounds latency best reflects PD processing in that its variance is uniquely accounted for by pseudohomophone and nonword naming latency. Findings are discussed in light of what the RAN tasks are measuring, implications involving visual word recognition models of reading, and the utility of the new RAN-Letter Sounds task with respect to diagnostic and remediation applications.

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