Detailed computational modelling of reading has been much pursued in the past twenty years, and several specific computational models of visual word recognition and reading aloud have been developed. These models offer computational accounts of many aspects of reading, but all have neglected the front end of the reading process, saying essentially nothing about how early visual processes operate during reading and little about how the nature of letter representations and how these are activated from print. This volume aims to begin to redress this neglect of the front end of the reading system.
The first three articles address issues of letter perception: i.e. how letter representations are activated from their visual features. The remaining four articles address the nature of the letter representations themselves, from functional, developmental and neural perspectives. These articles introduce novel and interesting ways to investigate the very earliest stages of the reading process. The research reported here will stimulate future investigations of this highly tractable, yet long overlooked, area of reading research. In particular, it should assist attempts to develop computational models of reading to make more realistic proposals about the actual computations involved in the activation of letter representations from print.
M. Finkbeiner, M. Coltheart, Letter Recognition: From Perception to Representation. A. Rey, S. Dufau, S. Massol, J. Grainger, Testing Computational Models of Letter Perception with Item-level Event-related Potentials. D. Fiset, C. Blais, M. Arguin, K. Tadros, C. Ethier-Majcher, D. Bub, F. Gosselin, The Spatio-temporal Dynamics of Visual Letter Recognition. D. Pelli, N. Majaj, N. Raizman, C. Christian, E. Kim, M. Palomares, Grouping in Object Recognition: The Role of a Gestalt Law in Letter Identification. G. Thompson, The Long Learning Route to Abstract Letter Units. T.A. Polk, H.P. Lacey, J.K. Nelson, E. Demiralp, L.I. Newman, D. Kraus, A. Raheja, M.J. Farah, The Development of Abstract Letter Representations for Reading: Evidence for the Role of Context. K. James, T. Atwood, The Role of Sensorimotor Learning in the Perception of Letter-like Forms: Tracking the Causes of Neural Specialization for Letters. A. Wong, G. Jobard, K. James, T. James, I. Gauthier, Expertise with Characters in Alphabetic and Nonalphabetic Writing Systems Engage Overlapping Occipito-temporal Areas.