Title: Word Processing in Deaf Readers: Evidence from ERPs and Eye Tracking
Deaf readers may differ from hearing readers in how they activate phonological, orthographic, and semantic representations to recognize and comprehend words. In this talk, I will present several studies from my dissertation that investigate how the unique sensory and linguistic experiences of deaf readers shape how they read. More specifically, enhanced visual attention, reduced access to phonology, and bimodal bilingualism may influence how deaf readers represent and process words. We used event-related potentials and eye tracking in this set of studies to compare deaf and hearing readers matched on reading skill and identify alternative approaches to achieving reading success. Results suggest that deaf readers are more sensitive to the visual-orthographic structure of words, which makes them more reliant on orthographic representations during word recognition and more efficient at processing visual word forms in sentence reading.