, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 139-161
Date: 30 Sep 2008

Use of context in the word recognition process by adults with a significant history of reading difficulties

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We examined whether university students who report a significant history of reading difficulties (RD; n = 24) differed from university students with no history of reading difficulties (NRD; n = 31) in how sentence context affects word recognition. Experiment 1 found no differences in how congruent sentence primes or syntactic manipulations of the sentence primes affected the performance of the two groups. However, only the RD group displayed a significant inhibition effect when the target word was preceded by an incongruent sentence prime. Experiment 2 found that the groups differed in how meaning frequency of the target word and context strength of the sentence prime affected word recognition latencies. The results suggest that the RD participants’ performance is context-sensitive and better explained by interactive models of language processing than by modular models.