Are difficulties of individuals with dyslexia (IDDs) reduced or enhanced in tasks where linguistic regularities typically facilitate performance, such as vocabulary acquisition and reading? If impaired short-term memory and poor phonological decoding pose the main impediments to IDDs, then they are expected to compensate for these difficulties with a greater reliance on linguistic regularities, to reduce online load. However, if reduced benefits from regularities pose the main bottleneck, IDDs might benefit less than good readers from regularities in spite of their online difficulties. To test that, we administered two experiments. In a novel paradigm of auditory vocabulary acquisition in Hebrew, novel words were presented either with or without familiar morphological structure. Participants with dyslexia showed a reduced recall benefit from familiar structure as compared with controls. However, their recognition was facilitated by morphological structure and did not significantly differ from controls'. In the second experiment, participants read novel words with and without familiar structure. Benefit from structure familiarity for IDDs was significantly smaller than for controls, in spite of IDDs' greater potential benefit from familiar structure due to their reduced overall accuracy. However, when asked to emphasize speed in reading, structure familiarity was found to be beneficial for IDDs, without compromising accuracy. These results imply that accumulative acquisition of sublexical regularities is less efficient in dyslexia, though in some tasks this knowledge is accessible and beneficial.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition|
|State||Published - Jan 2020|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (Grant I-1303-105.4/2015), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the International Development Research Center, the Israeli Science Foundation, and the Azrieli Foundation (Grant 2425/15), and a personal grant from the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 1650/17), awarded to Merav Ahissar. We thank The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences for the postdoctoral fellowship granted to Eva Kimel.
© 2019 American Psychological Association.
- Vocabulary acquisition