Developmental changes of the orthographic sensitivity in the brain

Symposium 2-4Time:15:00 - 16:30
Chia-Ying Lee1
1Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan,

Learning to read is a process of understanding written speech. During early years of literacy acquisition, children’s primary task is to master the orthographic rules that describe a set of orthographic units and mapping principles underlying how orthographic units encode phonology and semantics of a given writing system. As human brain continually reorganizes itself on the basis of input, an emerging research field, educational neuroscience, proposes that it is possible to observe the accompanying changes in the brain when learning take place. In this talk, I will take reading acquisition as an example to explore how neural signatures of orthographic processing change over the course of learning to read by examining the lexicality effect on N400. Our findings revealed that, as children become more advanced readers, the N400 elicited by the noncharacters changes from eliciting more negative N400 in the frontal sites to becoming more positive in the posterior sites when comparing to the one elicited by the real characters or pseudocharacters. The reversed lexicality effects in anterior and posterior sites supports the dual-mechanism for lexical retrieval (Lau, Phillips and Poeppel, 2008) and implies that reading experiences shapes the reliance on the supporting brain mechanisms, such as the executive function, for word recognition. These findings suggest that the time course and the topographic distribution of the lexicality effect on N400 may serve as ERPs markers for the evaluation of orthographic skill development and for the early identification of children at risk of reading difficulties.

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 Important Dates

Submissions Open:
December 10, 2016

Symposia submissions due:
March 1, 2017

Abstract submissions due:
April 10, 2017

Authors will be notified of decisions by:
May 20-22, 2017

Registration open:
May 21, 2017

September 1-3, 2017