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Ricky Van-yip Tso, Cecilia Nga-wing Leung, Terry Kit-fong Au, Janet Hui-wen Hsiao; Writing reduces holistic processing but does not facilitate reading: The case in Chinese children with developmental dyslexia.. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):182. doi: 10.1167/14.10.182.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Holistic processing (HP) is an expertise marker of face and object recognition. By contrast, the expertise marker of recognizing Chinese characters is reduced HP (Hsiao & Cottrell, 2009). Such reduction in HP seems to be driven mainly by writing experience rather than reading ability (Tso, Au, & Hsiao, 2013). In addition, HP seems to mediate between writing and reading in elementary-school children learning to read and write Chinese (Tso, Au & Hsiao, 2012): writing experience enhances analytic processing and awareness of orthographic components of Chinese characters, which in turn facilitates reading in Chinese. Here we examined this HP effect—i.e. reduced HP as an expertise marker—of Chinese character recognition in dyslexic and typically developing children (using the complete composite paradigm; Gauthier & Bukach, 2007) and its relationship with other Chinese proficiency measures (using age-matched, IQ-matched and performance-matched research design). We found that when the HP effect was matched between the two groups, they did not differ significantly in word dictation performance, and vice versa. This suggests that HP and writing performance in Chinese characters are associated, consistent with Tso and colleague's (2012, 2013) finding that reduced HP of Chinese characters may result from writing rather than reading experience. By contrast, even with HP or dictation performance matched, dyslexic children were outperformed by typically-developing children in Chinese character naming, revealing little association between HP/writing and reading of Chinese characters. The importance of writing experience for reading Chinese in typical developing children (e.g., Tan et al., 2005; Tso, Au & Hsiao, 2012) notwithstanding, our results suggest that the fundamental difference in reading performance between Chinese typically developing and dyslexic children cannot be accounted for by HP or writing performances. Dyslexic children's failure in recognizing Chinese characters may result from deficits in other types of processes than perceptual deficits or writing abnormality.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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