Recognition of oral spelling is diagnostic of the central reading processes

Teresa Schubert, Michael McCloskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The task of recognition of oral spelling (stimulus: “C-A-T”, response: “cat”) is often administered to individuals with acquired written language disorders, yet there is no consensus about the underlying cognitive processes. We adjudicate between two existing hypotheses: Recognition of oral spelling uses central reading processes, or recognition of oral spelling uses central spelling processes in reverse. We tested the recognition of oral spelling and spelling to dictation abilities of a single individual with acquired dyslexia and dysgraphia. She was impaired relative to matched controls in spelling to dictation but unimpaired in recognition of oral spelling. Recognition of oral spelling for exception words (e.g., colonel) and pronounceable nonwords (e.g., larth) was intact. Our results were predicted by the hypothesis that recognition of oral spelling involves the central reading processes. We conclude that recognition of oral spelling is a useful tool for probing the integrity of the central reading processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalCognitive neuropsychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2015


  • acquired dyslexia
  • reading
  • recognition of oral spelling
  • reverse spelling
  • spelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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