The Underlying Factors of Word Reading Rate

Zvia Breznitz, Lauren Berman

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The discovery of the "acceleration phenomenon" and the contribution of reading rate as an independent variable to the quality of the reading process brought about a systematic research project that examined the underlying factors of word reading rate. Word reading requires processing information in the visual and auditory modalities and relies on word recognition skills such as phonological and orthographic decoding. Therefore, it is believed that speed of processing of some subset of the above sub-processes affects word-reading rate. By using experimental manipulations relying on both electrophysiological (ERPs) and behavioral measures, the sub-processes that are activated in word reading can be distinguished and shown to differentiate between the early perceptual, the central cognitive, and the motoric stages of activation. Results indicate that word reading rate is related to basic speed of processing in the modalities activated during the reading process. However, the processing level within each modality that contributes to self-paced and fast word reading rate differs according to age and the efficiency of reading skills.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)247-265
    Number of pages19
    JournalEducational Psychology Review
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2003


    • Acceleration phenomenon
    • Dyslexia
    • Event-related potentials
    • Reading rate

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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