Memory & Cognition

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 568–581 | Cite as

From print to sound in mature readers as a function of reader ability and two forms of orthographic regularity

  • Mildred Mason


Four experiments using college students as subjects provide evidence that both highly skilled and less skilled mature readers derive the names of printed words from visual access of the lexicon rather than by phonological recoding. Regularity of pronunciation (regular vs. exception words) as a variable of orthographic regularity effectiveafter visual code formation had no effect either between or within reading ability groups. Less skilled readers made more errors and were slower than highly skilled readers on both types of words. Sing-letter spatial redundancy, as a variable of orthographic regularity that influences the formation of visual codes, served to differentiate the two groups only in naming nonwords. Highly skilled readers used spatial redundancy to offset the effect of array length, whereas less skilled readers did not. Except for high-frequency words, visual access and retrieval of the pronunciation of words was significantly faster for highly skilled readers. Less skilled readers were most disadvantaged in naming nonwords, a task that requires phonological recoding. Overall results support the hypothesis that reading ability in mature readers is related to the speed of word recognition. Highly skilled readers may make more use of variables of orthographic regularity effective in the formation of visual codes.


Serial Position Skilled Reader Reading Ability Regular Word Visual Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mildred Mason
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyIowa State UniversityAmes

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