, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 69-85

Theoretical links among naming speed, precise timing mechanisms and orthographic skill in dyslexia

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In this paper, we review several lines of convergent research to discuss the relationship between developmental dyslexia and slow symbol naming speed. We describe the interactive development of orthographic and phonological codes, and we discuss the methodological problems that may have led to underestimating the importance of individual differences in orthographic processing in our account of reading disabilities. Symbol naming speed is typically subsumed under phonological processing, yet it contributes variance to reading, especially to reading fluency, independently of phonological awareness. We speculate that naming speed may reflect precise timing mechanisms necessary to the development of orthographic codes and to their integration with phonological codes. We argue that an understanding of this precise timing dimension is necessary to incorporate in our models of phonological, orthographic, and semantic processes in reading acquisition and reading failure.