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Title : Reading without phonology: evidence from Apasha

Journal : Journal of experimental pshycology

Volume & Pages : 29, 515-525
Year : 1977
Writer : Eleanor M. Saffron and Oscar S. M. Marin
Reviewer : Yudha Pratama Novarizal
Date : June, 25th 2018

The purpose from this study is to know the growing evidence that there is a non-
phonological route print to meaning and that dyslexia is the result of isolating this
orthographic mechanism for another pathway ivolving grapheme-to-pheneme

The research subject is the patient named V.S. is a 51-year-old woman, previously
employed as a legal secretary, who suffered a cerebrovascular accident three years
prior to this study. A recent EMI scan showed an extensive lesion of the posterior
temporal region of the left hemisphere, which extended into the occipital lobe and
deep into white matter.

The method used in this research is Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. This test,
which is usually given auditorily, involves matching the stimulus word to one of
four pictures of actions or objects.


Dependent variable in this study is read without phonological meditation.
Gibson, Schurcliff and Yonas, 1970; Conrad, 1972. One of the best
demonstrations that reading can proceed without the use of phonological codes
comes, therefore, from the reading competence of profoundly deaf subjects, many
of whom acquire written language with little or no knowledge of its spoken form.
V.S.’s performance on a number of different reading tasks indicated that she
retained an extensive vocabulary of words that could be processed for meaning,
although they could not aIways be read aloud. The preservation of reading
vocabulary was demonstrated in two ways :
(I) Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. This test, which is usually given auditorily,
involves matching the stimulus word to one of four pictures of actions or objects.
V.S. performed almost as well (26 errors/rso words) on a written version of this
task as she did on the standard auditory version (21 errors, equivalent to an I.Q. of
120). Of the words missed on the reading test, 58% were also missed when
presented auditorily.
(2) estimate of vocabulary size. To get a rough estimate of V.S.’s reading
vocabulary, we sampled 200 words at random from the 20 ooo words in the
highest frequency category (frequency I /million or greater) of the Thorndike-
Lorge (1944) list. Since in this task we were concerned with reading
comprehension rather than with reading aloud, V.S. was instructed to read each
word to herself and then to define it. She generally responded with a synonym,
either orally or in writing; if she could not respond verbally, we accepted the
appropriate use of gesture or pantomime (e.g. a hug for the word “embrace”).


Independent variable from this research is phonemic dyslexics:
Phonological dyslexia is a reading disability that is a form of alexia (acquired
dyslexia), resulting from brain injury, stroke, or progressive illness and that
affects previously acquired reading abilities. The major distinguishing symptom
of acquired phonological dyslexia is that a selective impairment of the ability to
read pronounceable non-words occurs although the ability to read familiar words
is not affected. It has also been found that the ability to read non-words can be
improved if the non-words belong to a family of pseudohomophones.
Shallice and Warrington (1975). There are occasional reports of patients, termed
“phonemic dyslexics”, whose reading performance does not appear to be
constrained by grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules.
The steps used in this research process are:
They therefore devised two multiple choice tasks, one involving rhyming words
and the other homophones. To make sure that V.S. understood the nature of the
rhyming tasks, we first gave her a test of auditory rhyme discrimination, which
she performed very well (95% accuracy).
V.S. also performed poorly on the homophone recognition task, in which she was
instructed to “find the word that sounds exactly the same as the sample”.

1. The fact that it is possible to access meaning without phonology does not
mean that phonological mechanism are unnecessary for normal reading; at
least some of the reading difficulties of these patients have to do with the
failure of grapheme to phoneme conversion. And while phonological
processing may not be essential prior to lexical entry, it is possible that is
necessary after lexical identification to preserve this is information until
whole sentences have been decoded and understood.
2. Phonemic dyslexics learned to read before they incurred brain damage.

The strength of this research is the tool used in the research in the form of
questionnaires is quite easy to use by the subject of research so that in taking the
data is not needed a long time as in the qualitative method.

The weakness from this study are the limited subject studied.