Document Detail

Reading acquisition enhances an early visual process of contour integration.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22251300     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The acquisition of reading has an extensive impact on the developing brain and leads to enhanced abilities in phonological processing and visual letter perception. Could this expertise also extend to early visual abilities outside the reading domain? Here we studied the performance of illiterate, ex-illiterate and literate adults closely matched in age, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics, on a contour integration task known to depend on early visual processing. Stimuli consisted of a closed egg-shaped contour made of disconnected Gabor patches, within a background of randomly oriented Gabor stimuli. Subjects had to decide whether the egg was pointing left or right. Difficulty was varied by jittering the orientation of the Gabor patches forming the contour. Contour integration performance was lower in illiterates than in both ex-illiterate and literate controls. We argue that this difference in contour perception must reflect a genuine difference in visual function. According to this view, the intensive perceptual training that accompanies reading acquisition also improves early visual abilities, suggesting that the impact of literacy on the visual system is more widespread than originally proposed.
Marcin Szwed; Paulo Ventura; Luis Querido; Laurent Cohen; Stanislas Dehaene
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-11-9
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental science     Volume:  15     ISSN:  1467-7687     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-1-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814574     Medline TA:  Dev Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  139-149     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
 INSERM U992, Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, IFR 49, Gif sur Yvette, France  Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Faculté de Médecine Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France  CEA, NeuroSpin center, IFR 49, Gif sur Yvette, France  Université Paris XI, Orsay, France  Psychophysiology Laboratory, Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland  Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon, Portugal  Inserm, ICM Research Center, U975, Paris, France  AP-HP, Groupe hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Department of Neurology, Paris, France  Collège de France, Paris, France.
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