Phonological and orthographic processing of hebrew words: Electrophysiological aspects

Anat Barnea, Zvia Breznitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain activity among 15 male, college-level, normal readers in Israel was examined during phonological and orthographic word-recognition tasks. Both electrophysiological (event-related potentials, or ERPs) and behavioral measures were obtained. Data indicated that (a) behavioral accuracy was almost perfect for all the experimental tasks, and (b) although P200 and N400 ERP components were elicited in the experimental tasks, the latencies of those components were significantly longer and their amplitudes significantly higher in the phonological task. Variations in vowel information had no effect on word recognition in either type of task. The results suggest that among skilled readers of Hebrew, phonological processing during word recognition may be more effortful and may demand greater cognitive resources than orthographic processing. Furthermore, the additional phonological information represented in vowels appears to contribute little to word recognition in this population. These findings support earlier research on skilled reading in Hebrew as well as current theoretical models of reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-504
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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