chapter  9
42 Pages

Reading and speech perception

The fact that reading and listening to speech differ considerably can be seen by considering children and brain-damaged patients. Young children often have good comprehension of spoken language, but struggle to read even simple stories. Part of the reason may be that reading is a relatively recent invention in our evolutionary history, and so lacks a genetically programmed specialised processor (McCandliss, Cohen, & Dehaene, 2003). Some adult brain-damaged patients can understand spoken language but cannot read, and others can read perfectly well but cannot understand the spoken word.