Where is reading research going? a-35-years perspective
In this talk I will review the big questions of reading research, focusing on what should a theory of reading expertise look like. Discussing the various theoretical perspectives of reading proficiency, I will outline the blueprint of a novel approach that draws on insights from statistical learning research. A statistical learning theory of proficient reading assumes that reading experience leads to a deep assimilation of the statistical structure of a writing system, enabling effective predictions on-the-fly, thus facilitating eye-movement behavior. From a cross-linguistic perspective, it highlights the different statistical regularities embedded in writing systems, specifying how these regularities can be learned and processed by a neurobiologically-constrained computational system. This new perspective reshuffles the cards in the taxonomy of writing systems and generates a large set of novel predictions regarding cross-linguistic differences in reading behavior.