Orthographic Processing and Reading


  • Jonathan Grainger


I will argue that processing letter identities and letter positions occupies a central interface between visual and linguistic processing during reading. This is primarily due to the fact that reading words in languages that use an alphabetic script is essentially letter-based. Information about letter identities and letter positions provides the gateway to whole-word written representations, to morphemes such as prefixes and suffixes, and to sound based representations. I will first summarize work on letter identification processes before describing mechanisms for parallel letter processing during single word reading. Finally, I will describe recent work demonstrating parallel processing of written information spanning several words during sentence reading.

Author Biography

  • Jonathan Grainger
    Jonathan Grainger graduated from Manchester University, UK, before obtaining his PhD in Experimental Psychology in Paris, France, in 1986. He became a CNRS research scientist at the Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale, Paris, in 1988, and founded and directed (2000-2011) the Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive in Marseille. His research focuses on understanding basic processes in written word comprehension during reading.