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Visual ReflectionsA Perceptual Deficit and Its Implications$
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Michael McCloskey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168693

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168693.001.0001

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How Does AH Succeed at Reading?

How Does AH Succeed at Reading?

(p.98) 10 How Does AH Succeed at Reading?
Visual Reflections

Michael McCloskey

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how AH is apparently able to read successfully in daily life and why she and others were unaware of her reading difficulties. It suggests that AH's reading processes rely heavily on knowledge of regularities at multiple levels in written language to constrain interpretation of the potentially inaccurate stimulus representations generated by her visual system. When the available constraints are strong, as in reading connected text, AH's reading processes may usually be able to “repair” the visual-system errors, resulting in good comprehension. However, when the constraints are weak, as with isolated words or sequences of unrelated words, recovery from visual errors may often not be possible. The use of knowledge-based constraints is not a conscious problem-solving process but rather proceeds without AH's awareness or control.

Keywords:   knowledge-based constraints, reading impairment, visual perception, visual location, orientation perception, compensatory processes

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