A Connectionist Multiple-Trace Memory Model for Polysyllabic Word Reading

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A connectionist feedforward network implementing a mapping from orthography to phonology is described. The model develops a view of the reading system that accounts for both irregular word and pseudoword reading without relying on any system of explicit or implicit conversion rules. The model assumes, however, that reading is supported by 2 procedures that work successively: a global procedure using knowledge about entire words and an analytic procedure based on the activation of word syllabic segments. The model provides an account of the basic effects that characterize human skilled reading performance including a frequency by consistency interaction and a position-of-irregularity effect. Furthermore, early in training, the network shows a performance similar to that of less skilled readers. It also offers a plausible account of the patterns of acquired phonological and surface dyslexia when lesioned in different ways.

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