A Cognitive Neuropsychological Framework for Assessing Reading Disorders

  • Guila Glosser
  • Rhonda B. Friedman
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


Reading is a learned skill that engages a complex set of cognitive procedures. By virtue of its complexity, it is vulnerable to disruption with many different kinds of brain damage. Reading impairment is characteristic of almost all patients with acquired aphasia (Goodglass & Kaplan, 1983), and reading disorders persist chronically in the overwhelming majority of these aphasic patients (Webb & Love, 1983). Detailed assessment of the pattern of acquired reading disturbance, or alexia, can be informative about the underlying neural dysfunction as well as the integrity of various component cognitive neuropsychological processes. Since reading is fundamentally a linguistic activity and is based on prior mastery of auditory language skills, it is possible to learn about the integrity and function of various components of the language processing system through careful analysis of reading performance. Reading also depends on visual processing. Visual letter and word identification pose many of the same problems as other types of patterns for the visual recognition system, so that the functions of certain visual processing mechanisms may also he revealed in the analysis of reading performance. Reading competence is a prerequisite for many adult functional activities; hence, comprehensive assessment of reading capabilities is important for predicting functional living skills.


Reading Comprehension Letter String Phonological Processing Real Word Phonological Representation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guila Glosser
    • 1
  • Rhonda B. Friedman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyThe Graduate HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyGeorgetown University Medical CenterUSA

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