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Fan Cao, Chotiga Pattamadilok, Johannes Ziegler


Fan Cao (1), Chotiga Pattamadilok (2), Johannes Ziegler (3)
((1)Michigan State University), (2) LPL UMR7309 CNRS AMU, (3) LPC UMR7290 CNRS AMU)
Salle de conférences B011, bât. B 5 avenue Pasteur, Aix-en-Provence
9h30-12h30 Salle de conférences B011, bât. B 5 avenue Pasteur, Aix-en-Provence

Cross-linguistic and neurolinguistic perspectives on reading and speech processing

Neural specialization and reading ability 
Fan Cao (Michigan State University) 

The brain becomes specialized with exposure to the environment. One piece of evidence comes from how the language system shapes brain function. In a cross-linguistic developmental study, we show growing divergence between Chinese reading and English reading from children to adults. We found that specialization is positively correlated with proficiency. For example, there is reduced specialization in children with reading disability. Another example is proficiency effect in bilinguals, where we found greater specialization with higher proficiency in a group of late Chinese-English bilinguals. We also found that specialization can be facilitated by providing more effective instruction. In a series of training studies, we compared writing and visual-only learning in English learners of Chinese, and we found writing training evoked a more native-like brain network, suggesting greater specialization and accommodation. In summary, the brain becomes specialized with language experience and optimal instruction will promote the process of specialization.

How does learning to read modify speech processing ? Chotiga Pattamadilok (Laboratoire Parole et Langage) 

Behavioral and brain imaging studies have demonstrated that learning to read and write changes the way the brain processes spoken language. However, the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying such modification are still under debate. Two complementary hypotheses have been proposed. According to the ""online"" account, strong connections between spoken and written language result in the automatic co-activation of both codes when one processes language, such that hearing a spoken word activates, in real time, its corresponding written form and vice-versa. According to the ""offline or developmental account"" learning to read induces more profound changes withinthe spoken language system itself, probably by restructuring the nature of the phonological representations. Evidence supporting both hypotheses will be discussed.

A cross-language perspective on reading, reading development and dyslexia Johannes Ziegler (Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive) 

Many theories assume that different languages or writing systems afford different reading styles. One idea that has been around since the early 70s is that opaque writing systems favor a ""Chinese"" style of reading (a direct route to meaning) whereas transparent writing systems favor a ""Phoenician"" style (an indirect route that is phonologically mediated). However, research on reading development and dyslexia across languages draws a different picture, one in which the core reading processes are very similar across languages. The main differences are related to consistency and orthographic complexity – these variables affect the granularity of the computations rather than the computations themselves.


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