A Visually Based Developmental Reading Deficit

Michael McCloskey, Brenda Rapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study describes a developmental reading disability and identifies a deficit of visual perception as the underlying cause. A.H., a university student with apparently normal reading comprehension, was severely impaired in reading aloud isolated words (e.g., dear → "pear") and sequences of unrelated words (e.g., pouch cedar culture jacket → "cedar pouch jacket culture"). Eight experiments involving several visual presentation conditions convincingly linked her impaired reading performance to a developmental deficit in perceiving the location and orientation of visual stimuli. Four additional experiments demonstrated that A.H. achieves good comprehension for meaningful material by exploiting knowledge-based constraints (e.g., syntactic constraints) to "repair" the errors introduced by her visual system. These results have implications for research on developmental dyslexia, normal reading, and normal vision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-181
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2000


  • Cognitive neuropsychology
  • Developmental dyslexia
  • Dyslexia
  • Reading
  • Reading disability
  • Vision
  • Visual localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'A Visually Based Developmental Reading Deficit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this