Rueckl, J. G., Paz-Alonso, P. M., Molfese, P. J., Kuo, W. J., Bick, A., Frost, S. J., Hancock, R., et al.
(2015). A Universal brain signature of proficient reading: evidence from four contrasting languages. PNAS
(50), 15510-15515. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We propose and test a theoretical perspective in which a universal hallmark of successful literacy acquisition is the convergence of the speech and orthographic processing systems onto a common network of neural structures, regardless of how spoken words are represented orthographically in a writing system. During functional MRI, skilled adult readers of four distinct and highly contrasting languages, Spanish, English, Hebrew, and Chinese, performed an identical semantic categorization task to spoken and written words. Results from three complementary analytic approaches demonstrate limited language variation, with speech-print convergence emerging as a common brain signature of reading proficiency across the wide spectrum of selected languages, whether their writing system is alphabetic or logographic, whether it is opaque or transparent, and regardless of the phonological and morphological structure it represents. cross-language invariance | word recognition | functional MRI
Frost, R., & Treiman, A.
(2015). Cross-linguistic perspectives on letter-order processing-Empirical findings and theoretical considerations.
In R. Pollatsek, A. &Treiman (Ed.)
, Oxford Handbook of reading
. Oxford University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The processing of letter order has profound implications for understanding how visually presented words are processed and how they are recognized, given the lexical architecture that characterizes a given language. Research conducted in different writing systems suggests that letter-position effects, such as transposed-letter priming, are not universal. The cognitive system may perform very different types of processing on a sequence of letters depending on factors that are unrelated to peripheral orthographic characteristics but related to the deep structural properties of the printed stimuli. Assuming that identical neurobiological constraints govern reading performance in any language, these findings suggest that neurobiological constraints interact with the idiosyncratic statistical properties of a given writing system to determine the preciseness or fuzziness of letter-position coding. This chapter reviews the evidence for this interaction and discusses the implications for theories of reading and for modeling visual word recognition.
Samuel, A. G., & Frost, R.
(2015). Lexical support for phonetic perception during non-native spoken word recognitaion. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
(6), 1746-1752. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Second language comprehension is generally not as efficient and effective as native language comprehension. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that lower-level processes such as lexical support for phonetic perception are a contributing factor to these differences. For native listeners, it has been shown that the perception of ambiguous acoustic–phonetic segments is driven by lexical factors (Samuel Psychological Science, 12, 348–351, 2001). Here, we tested whether nonnative listeners can use lexical context in the same way. Native Hebrew speakers living in Israel were tested with American English stimuli. When subtle acoustic cues in the stimuli worked against the lexical context, these nonnative speakers showed no evidence of lexical guidance of phonetic perception. This result conflicts with the performance of native speakers, who demonstrate lexical effects on phonetic perception even with conflicting acoustic cues. When stimuli without any conflicting cues were used, the native Hebrew subjects produced results similar to those of native English speakers, showing lexical support for phonetic perception in their second language. In contrast, native Arabic speakers, who were less proficient in English than the native Hebrew speakers, showed no ability to use lexical activation to support phonetic perception, even without any conflicting cues. These results reinforce previous demonstrations of lexical support of phonetic perception and demonstrate how proficiency modulates the use of lexical information in driving phonetic perception.
Frost, R., Armstrong, B. C., Siegelman, N., & Christiansen, M. H.
(2015). Domain generality versus modality specificity: the paradox of statistical learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences
(3), 117-125. Publisher's VersionAbstract
* Statistical learning (SL) theory is challenged by modality/stimulus-specific effects. * We argue that SL is shaped by both modality-specific constraints and domain-general principles. * SL relies on modality-specific neural networks and partially shared neural networks. * Studies of individual differences provide targeted insights into mechanisms of SL.