Charles Perfetti

Charles Perfetti
University of Pittsburgh | Pitt · Psychology

PhD, University of Michigan

About

312
Publications
178,361
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27,612
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Publications

Publications (312)
Article
Readers have different motivations and approaches to text that covers a range of topics and difficulty levels. We introduce the concept of readers’ approaches to text to establish a link between motivational and cognitive aspects of reading comprehension. Study 1 describes the development of a self-report measure of readers’ approaches to text with...
Chapter
In this chapter, the authors highlight advances in the study of skilled reading, from word identification to comprehension, emphasizing language and writing system influences, the convergence of brain and behavior data, with brief links to reading difficulties and learning to read. They begin by replacing their metaphor of stream currents with a st...
Article
Eye tracking and event-related potentials (ERPs) have complementary advantages in the study of reading processes. We used eye tracking to extend ERP evidence of Helder et al. (2020) that word-to-text integration at the beginnings and ends of sentences is primarily determined by local text factors (antecedents in a previous sentence) but that global...
Article
Dyslexic children often fail to correct errors while reading aloud, and dyslexic adolescents and adults exhibit lower amplitudes of the error-related negativity (ERN)—the neural response to errors—than typical readers during silent reading. Past researchers therefore suggested that dyslexia may arise from a faulty error detection mechanism that int...
Article
Fourth standard students (8–10 years old) learning Hindi as an additional language played a mobile game that teaches children to identify complex akshara (akshara that contain at least two consonant components) and spell words that contain complex akshara. We analyzed the game data to identify aspects of both akshara and words that are challenging...
Article
Consistency and regularity, concepts that arise, respectively, from the connectionist and classical cognitive modeling work in alphabetic reading, are two ways to characterize the orthography-to-phonology mappings of written languages. These concepts have been applied to Chinese reading research despite important differences across writing systems,...
Article
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This study developed and validated a Chinese pseudo-character/non-character producing system (CPN system) that can assist researchers in creating experimental materials using Chinese characters. Based on a large-scale dataset of 6097 characters, the CPN system provides researchers with precise Chinese orthographic information (structures and positi...
Article
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In this article, we provide a cross-linguistic perspective on the universals and particulars in learning to read across seventeen different orthographies. Starting from the assumption that reading reflects a learned sensitivity to the systematic relationships between the surface forms of words and their meanings, we chose a broad group of seventeen...
Article
The study of word-to-text integration (WTI) provides a window on incremental processes that link the meaning of a word to the preceding text. We review a research program using event-related potential indicators of WTI at sentence beginnings, thus localizing sources of integration to prior text meaning independently of the current sentence. The res...
Article
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We report ERP evidence for local (preceding sentence) and global (thematic centrality) influences on word-to-text integration. Helder et al. (2019) found that the preceding sentence, rather than the central theme, is the primary source of integration, indexed by the N400 on the sentence-initial noun. The present experiments add evidence for themati...
Article
When reading in a second language, a reader’s first language may be involved. For word reading, the question is how and at what level: lexical, pre-lexical, or both. In three experiments, we employed an implicit reading task (color judgment) and an explicit reading task (word naming) to test whether a Chinese meaning equivalent character and its su...
Article
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Although learning second language phonology is a difficult task, orthographic input may support the learning of difficult sound contrasts through a process known as orthographic facilitation. We extended this research by examining the effects of orthographic input together with individual differences in three different phonological learning process...
Article
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Word identification is undeniably important for skilled reading and ultimately reading comprehension. Interestingly, both lexical and sublexical procedures can support word identification. Recent cross-linguistic comparisons have demonstrated that there are biases in orthographic coding (e.g., holistic vs. analytic) linked with differences in writi...
Article
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We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the neural systems involved in reading Chinese in 125 participants 6-74 years old to examine two theoretical issues: how brain structure and function are related in the context of the lifetime neural development of human cognition and whether the neural network for reading is universal or...
Article
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In light of the dramatic growth of Chinese learners worldwide and a need for a cross-linguistic research on Chinese literacy development, this study investigated (a) the effects of character properties (i.e., orthographic consistency and transparency) on character acquisition, and (b) the effects of individual learner differences (i.e., orthographi...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research with alphasyllabaries has shown that children struggle with akshara that have two or more consonants, known as complex akshara. We developed a mobile game that teaches 4th grade children Hindi decoding skills, with an emphasis on complex akshara. All of the children were second language learners of Hindi. There were two versions o...
Article
Purpose Improving vocabulary knowledge is important for many adolescents, but there are few evidence-based vocabulary instruction programs available for high school students. The purpose of this article is to describe the iterative development of the DictionarySquared research platform, a web-based vocabulary program that provides individualized vo...
Chapter
Developmental Dyslexia across Languages and Writing Systems - edited by Ludo Verhoeven October 2019
Chapter
Developmental Dyslexia across Languages and Writing Systems - edited by Ludo Verhoeven October 2019
Chapter
Developmental Dyslexia across Languages and Writing Systems - edited by Ludo Verhoeven October 2019
Article
Text comprehension requires integrating meanings within and across sentences. However, sentence boundaries mark an occasion for readers to begin a new structure – integration with prior meanings is not immediately required in the absence of a retrieval cue to a text segment in memory. In an ERP study we investigated a grammatical cue for integratio...
Article
How do skilled Chinese readers, accustomed to characters, process Pinyin, a phonemic transcription of Chinese? Does the orthography of Chinese characters become activated? In four experiments, native speakers first made a meaning judgment on a two-syllable word written in Pinyin. Immediately following, they responded to a character whose orthograph...
Article
Throughout the world, many people learn to read in a second language (L2) which can be considered a challenging task given that a script needs to be learned in a language that is not fully acquired yet. The neurocognitive processes of learning to read in an L2 are just beginning to be understood. Across different languages, L2 reading can be seen a...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have suggested that bilingual production experience has beneficial effects on executive functions. In the current study, four experiments were conducted to investigate whether bilingual comprehension experience influences executive functions. In Experiments 1 and 2, Chinese–English bilinguals completed a flanker task interleaved wi...
Article
Written word recognition in Chinese links the perception of individual characters with whole words. With experience in reading, a high-quality word representation can provide top-down influence on the perception of its constituent characters, thus producing a word superiority effect (WSE). In experiments using the Reicher–Wheeler paradigm, we exami...
Article
Learning a new, unrelated meaning for a known word faces competition from the word’s original meaning. Moreover, the connection of the word with its original meaning also shows a subtle form of interference, a perturbation, when tested immediately after learning. However, the long-term effects of both types of interference are unclear. The present...
Article
In two ERP experiments we examined local (recent text) and global (centrality) text influences on word-to-text integration. Participants read words that appeared across a sentence boundary or in text-final position. In both cases, the word was either related (central) or unrelated (non-central) to the central theme of the passage. Additionally, wor...
Article
Studies of bilingual proficiency have largely focused on word and sentence processing, whereas the text level has received relatively little attention. We examined on-line second language (L2) text comprehension in relation to L2 proficiency with ERPs recorded on critical words separated across a sentence boundary from their co-referential antecede...
Article
This study examines second language (L2) reading by individuals with a Chinese or Korean native literacy (L1) background. It tests a hypothesis about the L1-L2 transfer of word reading procedures, which predicts that Chinese-English (CE) bilinguals transfer a bias towards lexical reading procedures and holistic orthographic coding to L2 English rea...
Article
Full-text available
Does reading Pinyin, a Roman alphabet transcription of Chinese, cause the implicit activation of the corresponding Chinese character? To address this question, we carried out two experiments with adult Chinese learners, measuring interference in character reading in a modified Stroop task. Participants first made a meaning judgment on a Pinyin word...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In two experiments we examined the time course of local (recent text) and global (central theme) influences on reading words in texts. Results from ERP recordings indicate local lexical-semantic binding processes dominate at the initial words across a sentence boundary and centrality influences emerging at the end of the sentence. Indicators of mea...
Article
Although writing systems affect reading at the level of word identification, one expects writing system to have minimal effects on comprehension processes. We tested this assumption by recording ERPs while native Chinese speakers read short texts for comprehension in the word-to-text integration (WTI) paradigm to compare with studies of English usi...
Article
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We report a new multidimensional measure of visual complexity (GraphCom) that captures variability in the complexity of graphs within and across writing systems. We applied the measure to 131 written languages, allowing comparisons of complexity and providing a basis for empirical testing of GraphCom. The measure includes four dimensions whose valu...
Article
The importance of memory consolidation in integrating new knowledge has received much recent attention in the field of word learning. Less examined is the change in existing word knowledge as a result of learning, which we hypothesize to occur prior to the opportunity for consolidation. To test this, we had participants learn new meanings for known...
Article
During reading, words that are congruent with the prior text’s meaning can help update the reader’s mental model of the text. Although prediction is viewed as a major driver of meaning congruence, reflected by the N400, we hypothesised that at the beginnings of sentences, memory-based integration is the dominant mechanism for mental model updating....
Article
Share (1995) proposed phonological recoding (the translation of letters into sounds) as a self-teaching mechanism through which readers establish complete lexical representations. More recently, McKague et al. (2008) proposed a similar role for orthographic recoding, that is, feedback from sounds to letters, in building and refining lexical represe...
Article
Full-text available
Research on cross-linguistic comparisons of the neural correlates of reading has consistently found that the left middle frontal gyrus (MFG) is more involved in Chinese than in English. However, there is a lack of consensus on the interpretation of the language difference. Because this region has been found to be involved in writing, we hypothesize...
Article
Long after knowing the meaning of roller-“skate”, one may learn that “skate” is also a kind of fish. Such learning of new meanings for familiar words involves two potentially contrasting processes: form-based familiarity may facilitate the learning, and meaning-based interference may be inhibitory. We had native speakers learn new meanings for fami...
Article
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Two experiments demonstrate that individual differences among normal adult readers, including lexical quality, are expressed in silent reading at the word level. In the first of two studies we identified major dimensions of variability among college readers and among words using factor analysis. We then examined the effects of these dimensions of v...
Article
Learning to read is thought to involve the recruitment of left hemisphere ventral occipitotemporal cortex (OTC) by a process of "neuronal recycling", whereby object processing mechanisms are co-opted for reading. Under the same theoretical framework, it has been proposed that the visual word form area (VWFA) within the OTC processes orthographic st...
Article
Full-text available
Word learning can build the high-quality word representations that support skilled reading and language comprehension. According to the partial knowledge hypothesis, words that are partially known, also known as “frontier words” (Durso & Shore, 1991), may be good targets for instruction precisely because they are already familiar. However, studies...
Article
Full-text available
There is extensive evidence that the segmental (i.e., phonemic) layer of phonology is routinely activated during reading, but little is known about whether phonological activation extends beyond phonemes to subsegmental layers (which include articulatory information, such as voicing) and suprasegmental layers (which include prosodic information, su...
Article
Full-text available
The visual complexity of orthographies varies across writing systems. Prior research has shown that complexity strongly influences the initial stage of reading development: the perceptual learning of grapheme forms. This study presents a computational simulation that examines the degree to which visual complexity leads to grapheme learning difficul...
Article
Full-text available
During reading, word-to-text integration (WTI) proceeds quickly and incrementally through both prediction and memory processes. We tested predictive and memory mechanisms with event-related potentials (ERPs) recorded on critical words that were across a sentence boundary from co-referential words that differed in dominant direction of lexical assoc...
Article
The "bilingual advantage" theory stipulates that constant selection and suppression between 2 languages results in enhanced executive control (EC). Behavioral studies of EC in bilinguals have employed wide-ranging tasks and report some conflicting results. To avoid concerns about tasks, we employed a different approach, measuring gray matter volume...
Article
To examine the importance of manual character writing to reading in a new writing system, 48 adult Chinese-as-a-foreign-language students were taught characters in either a character writing-to-read or an alphabet typing-to-read condition, and engaged in corresponding handwriting or typing training for five consecutive days. Prior knowledge of orth...
Chapter
Full-text available
There are two thin lines that separate descriptions of text comprehension. The first is the line between what a text says (i.e., its explicit or literal meaning) and what is inferable from the text (i.e., its implicit meaning). The second thin line is one that separates two kinds of implicit meaning processes. On one side of this line is what text...
Article
Full-text available
Learning to read a second language (L2) is especially challenging when a target L2 requires learning new graphic forms. Learning Chinese, which consists of thousands of characters composed of hundreds of basic writing units, presents such a challenge of orthographic learning for adult English speakers at the beginning stages of learning. In this st...
Article
The logographic nature of the Chinese writing system creates a huge hurdle for Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) learners. Existing literature (e.g., Shen, 2010; Taft & Chung, 1999) suggests that radical knowledge facilitates character learning. In this project, we selected 48 compound characters in eight radical groups and examined how grouping...
Article
Full-text available
New word learning occurs incidentally through exposure to language. Hypothesising that effectiveness of contextual word learning in a second language (L2) depends on the quality of existing lexical semantic knowledge, we tested more and less proficient adult bilinguals in an incidental word learning task. One day after being exposed to rare words i...
Article
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We reintroduce a wide-angle view of reading comprehension, the Reading Systems Framework, which places word knowledge in the center of the picture, taking into account the progress made in comprehension research and theory. Within this framework, word-to-text integration processes can serve as a model for the study of local comprehension processes,...
Article
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We examined the hypothesis that encoding Chinese characters through stroke-by-stroke animation produces orthographic learning that is different from conventional static displays. We used behavioral responses and ERPs to index the incremental learning that occurs of character forms, and the attention allocation to dynamic vs. static encodings. Adult...
Article
The extent to which speakers of alphasyllabaries develop phonemic awareness is unclear. In alphasyllabaries, diacritics are used to mark all vowels following consonants, except for the schwa vowel, which is inherent in every consonant, and is marked or unmarked depending on its position within a word. We used Marathi as an example alphasyllabary la...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous functional neuroimaging studies have shown that most orthographic stimuli, such as printed English words, produce a left-lateralized response within the fusiform gyrus (FG) at a characteristic location termed the visual word form area (VWFA). We developed an experimental alphabet (FaceFont) comprising 35 face-phoneme pairs to disentangle p...
Article
The connections among language, writing system, and reading are part of what confronts a child in learning to read. We examine these connections in addressing how reading processes adapt to the variety of written language and how writing adapts to language. The first adaptation (reading to writing), as evidenced in behavioral and neuroscience data,...
Article
Previous studies suggest that writing helps reading development in Chinese in both first and second language settings by enabling higher‐quality orthographic representation of the characters. This study investigated the comparative effectiveness of reading, animation, and writing in developing foreign language learners' orthographic knowledge of Ch...
Article
We examined the hypothesis that learning to write Chinese characters influences the brain's reading network for characters. Students from a college Chinese class learned 30 characters in a character-writing condition and 30 characters in a pinyin-writing condition. After learning, functional magnetic resonance imaging collected during passive viewi...
Article
The minimal contrast hypothesis was tested with artificial words. In a modified paired-associates task, Ss first learned “semantic” features of artificial words, then gave associations to each word. Associations tended to be words which contrasted with the stimulus on only one feature, thus supporting the minimal contrast hypothesis for artificial...
Article
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The assimilation hypothesis argues that second language learning recruits the brain network for processing the native language, whereas the accommodation hypothesis argues that learning a second language recruits brain structures not involved in native language processing. This study tested these hypotheses by examining brain activation of a group...