• friday, 14 june 2019—12:15

    Tânia FERNANDES - The visual facet of learning to read: Consequences on visual processing of letters and non-letters

    Tânia Fernandes, Faculdade de Psicologia, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

    Learning to read not only leads to the emergence of a specialized neurocognitive circuitry, but also bridges and deeply impacts on two evolutionary older cognitive systems - visual object recognition and oral language. In this talk, I will focus on the impact of learning to read on visual object recognition, by testing two visual adaptations required for reading in the Latin alphabet but which depart from the original properties of object recognition: narrow spatial integration of features in letters, i.e., reduced crowding, and discrimination of mirror images (d ≠ b). To track the full developmental trajectory of change in these visual adaptations, I will present studies with preliterate children vs. beginning readers, 2-4th grade readers, typical and dyslexic readers, and illiterate and literate adults in Tamil (a script without mirrored symbols) and in the Latin alphabet. This bulk of research shows that these adaptations generalize to other, non-letter, visual categories, reach full action after few years of reading experience with a script that intensively trains such adaptations, but are, nonetheless, hampered in dyslexia.

    external seminar