Poster F46, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
The left-lateralized N170 and the phonological mapping hypothesis when learning to read in the adulthood
Laura V. Sánchez-Vincitore1, Jon Andoni Duñabeitia2; 1Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), Dominican Republic, 2Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), Spain
Automatic and effortless reading is typically indexed by a left-lateralized N170 that responds to visual word forms (Maurer et al., 2006). Intensive training seems to be required to elicit such specialized component (Boltzmann & Rüsseler, 2013), since it tends to be difficult to obtain with neoliterate adult samples (Sánchez-Vincitore, Avery, & Froud, 2017). It has been claimed that the N170 for words stems from the recruitment of left-lateralized language areas while transforming visual stimuli into linguistic orthographic and phonological pieces of information during reading (Maurer & McCandliss 2007). According to the “phonological mapping hypothesis” (Sacchi & Laszlo, 2016), a correlation between phonological awareness in children and their left lateralization of word-related N170 has been suggested. However, this correlation is still to be tested in adults who are learning to read. In this study, we assessed 21 right-handed students enrolled in a national adult literacy program in the Dominican Republic. Participants were tested on phonemic and syllabic awareness tests and reading comprehension. In addition, a high-density EEG was recorded while participants performed a one-back task including words, symbols, objects, and faces, which was specifically designed to elicit the N170 ERP component. We found a significant correlation between phonemic awareness and the left lateralization of N170, supporting the phonological mapping hypothesis in adults who are learning to read in a transparent orthography (Spanish). This study addresses the importance of considering phonological awareness (specifically phonemic awareness) when designing and implementing adult literacy programs, as a skill that could be essential for reading automaticity.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other