Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How can we stlil raed words wehn teh lettres are jmbuled up?

Date:
March 15, 2013
Source:
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Summary:
Researchers have taken an important step towards understanding how the human brain 'decodes' letters on a page to read a word. The work will help psychologists unravel the subtle thinking mechanisms involved in reading, and could provide solutions for helping people who find it difficult to read, for example in conditions such as dyslexia.

Researchers in the UK have taken an important step towards understanding how the human brain 'decodes' letters on a page to read a word. The work, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will help psychologists unravel the subtle thinking mechanisms involved in reading, and could provide solutions for helping people who find it difficult to read, for example in conditions such as dyslexia.

Related Articles


In order to read successfully, readers need not only to identify the letters in words, but also to accurately code the positions of those letters, so that they can distinguish words like CAT and ACT. At the same time, however, it's clear that raeders can dael wtih wodrs in wihch not all teh leettrs aer in thier corerct psotiions.

"How the brain can make sense of some jumbled sequences of letters but not others is a key question that psychologists need to answer to understand the code that the brain uses when reading," says Professor Colin Davis of Royal Holloway, University of London, who led the research.

For many years researchers have used a standard psychological test to try to work out which sequences of letters in a word are important cues that the brain uses, where jumbled words are flashed momentarily on a screen to see if they help the brain to recognise the properly spelt word.

But, this technique had limitations that made it impossible to probe more extreme rearrangements of sequences of letters. Professor Davis's team used computer simulations to work out that a simple modification to the test would allow it to question these more complex changes to words. This increases the test's sensitivity significantly and makes it far more valuable for comparing different coding theories.

"For example, if we take the word VACATION and change it to AVACITNO, previously the test would not tell us if the brain recognises it as VACATION because other words such as AVOCADO or AVIATION might start popping into the person's head," says Professor Davis. "With our modification we can show that indeed the brain does relate AVACITNO to VACATION, and this starts to give us much more of an insight into the nature of the code that the brain is using -- something that was not possible with the existing test."

The modified test should allow researchers not only to crack the code that the brain uses to make sense of strings of letters, but also to examine differences between individuals -- how a 'good' reader decodes letter sequences compared with someone who finds reading difficult.

"These kinds of methods can be very sensitive to individual differences in reading ability and we are starting to get a better idea of some of the issues that underpin people's difficulty in reading," says Professor Davis. Ultimately, this could lead to new approaches to helping people to overcome reading problems.

Further information: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-000-22-3354/read


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "How can we stlil raed words wehn teh lettres are jmbuled up?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130315074613.htm>.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). (2013, March 15). How can we stlil raed words wehn teh lettres are jmbuled up?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130315074613.htm
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "How can we stlil raed words wehn teh lettres are jmbuled up?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130315074613.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins