Studies on the cerebral mechanisms of reading have mostly used Latin-based writing systems and assume that the left, but not the right, cerebral hemisphere is capable of phonological processing. The present study used Hebrew as the test language to examine the effects of phonological and orthographic information in the two hemispheres. In unvoweled Hebrew script, words are read via consonant information alone. We used two naming tasks with an interference paradigm, where phonemically, orthographically, and figurally incorrect vowel information conflicted with the consonant information of words presented in the left, right, or central visual fields. Interference patterns indicated that the left hemisphere automatically transforms graphemes into phonemes (Experiments 1 and 2), whereas the right hemisphere processes vowel diacritics as visual objects (Experiment 1), although it possesses some phonological categories (Experiment 2). The significance of these findings for models of visual word recognition in the cerebral hemispheres is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Cognitive Neuroscience