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Title: Visual word recognition in deaf readers : the interplay between orthographic, semantic and phonological information
Author: Rowley, Katherine Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 2228
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Poor literacy is prevalent in the deaf population. This thesis assesses levels of literacy in the deaf population by investigating visual word recognition in deaf readers. For hearing readers, several studies have demonstrated that good visual word recognition skills are crucial for successful literacy attainment and poor readers are likely to have poor word recognition skills. In particular, phonology is known to play an important role in visual word recognition in hearing individuals. The role of phonology in deaf readers has also been addressed extensively. However, these have generated mixed results, which may be partly due to different methodological approaches and lack of control for reading level of participants. Studies reported in this thesis explore the role of orthography, semantics and phonology in deaf skilled readers during visual word recognition and also sentence reading using various methodologies and controlling carefully for reading level. The methodologies used include: lexical decision, masked priming, the visual world and the invisible boundary paradigm. The results from the various tasks described in this thesis show that there are similarities in the way deaf skilled and hearing readers process semantic and orthographic information. However, I found differences in how they process phonological information: deaf and hearing readers show similar effects of phonology in tasks that do not require semantic activation, however, deaf readers do not show phonological activation in tasks that require semantics while hearing readers do. This suggests qualitative differences in reading strategies for the two populations. These differences do not account for differences in literacy attainment across deaf and hearing groups (as our participants where matched for reading levels). Implications for theories of visual word recognition are discussed and in the final chapter, I introduce a proposed model of visual word recognition for deaf readers based on findings reported in this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available