Carreiras, M., Armstrong, B. C., Perea, M., & Frost, R. (2014).  The What, When, Where, and How of Visual Word Recognition.   Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(2) 90-98.   Invited peer-reviewed contribution.  


Author's self-archived version (.pdf)  (35 pages)

Official version in TICS [external link]


A long-standing debate in reading research is whether printed words are perceived in a feedforward manner on the basis of orthographic information, with other representations such as semantics and phonology activated subsequently, or whether the system is fully interactive and feedback from these representations shapes early visual word recognition. We review recent evidence from behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, and biologically plausible connectionist modeling approaches, focusing on how each approach provides insight into the temporal flow of information in the lexical system. We conclude that, consistent with interactive accounts, higher-order linguistic representations modulate early orthographic processing. We also discuss how biologically plausible interactive frameworks and coordinated empirical and computational work can advance theories of visual word recognition and other domains (e.g., object recognition).

Keywords: visual word recognition; visual word form area; orthographic processing;
neural connectivity; computational modeling; feedback versus feedforward information.

Copyright Notice (borrowed from David Plaut): The documents distributed here have been provided as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.