Parallel Orthographic Processing and Reading

This page was last updated on 21/01/2023  



An ERC project

The project centers on a new computational model, the POP-R model, that implements two original, and apparently contradictory, hypotheses with respect to the processing of orthographic information spanning several words during silent reading for meaning: 1) orthographic information spanning several words is processed in parallel and integrated within a single pool of location-invariant orthographic representations; 2) readers process multiple word identities in parallel and keep track of the positions of these words by associating word identities with spatiotopic locations in short-term memory. The apparent contradiction is solved in POP-R by the triangular connectivity between gaze-centered letter detectors, spatiotopic word identities, and location-invariant orthographic representations. Evidence in favor of the first hypothesis has been obtained with a novel Flanking Letters Lexical Decision task. The second hypothesis predicted the existence of a sentence superiority effect in a novel Rapid Parallel Visual Presentation paradigm, for which we have preliminary evidence. Other key predictions of the POP-R model will be tested in behavioral experiments using these new techniques, and EEG and MEG recordings will be used to specify the spatio-temporal dynamics of the neural processes underlying orthographic pooling and parallel word identification. Experiments with primary school children will plot the developmental trajectory of these processes, and sentence reading experiments measuring eye-movements and ERPs will be used to further test the model. The project incorporates both theoretical and methodological innovation within a novel perspective on reading that places orthographic processing at the very heart of the reading network. This new perspective is expected to facilitate the integration of knowledge concerning low-level visual processing and eye-movement control with higher-level semantic and syntactic processing during silent reading for meaning.

For more information, see the institutional site or download the scientific project (link).


See the Aix-Marseille repository for another view on articles ( HAL-AMU ).



Mirault, J., Snell, J., & Grainger, J. (2018). You that read wrong again! A transposed-word effect in grammaticality judgments. Psychological Science, 29, 1922-1929. DOI:10.1177/0956797618806296.

Scaltritti, M., Dufau, S., & Grainger, J. (2018). Stimulus orientation and the first-letter advantage. Acta Psychologica, 183, 37-42. DOI:10.1016/j.actpsy.2017.12.009.

Snell, J., Bertrand, D., & Grainger, J. (2018). Parafoveal letter-position coding in reading. Memory & Cognition, 46, 589-599. DOI:10.3758/s13421-017-0786-0.

Snell, J., Bertrand, D., Meeter, M., & Grainger, J. (2018). Integrating orthographic information across time and space: A comparison of priming and flanker effects with orthographic neighbors. Experimental Psychology, 65, 32-39. DOI:10.1027/1618-3169/a000386.

Snell, J. & Grainger, J. (2018). Parallel word processing in the flanker paradigm has a rightward bias. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 80, 1512-1519. DOI:10.3758/s13414-018-1547-2.

Snell, J., Grainger, J., & Declerck, M. &. (2018). A word on words in words: How do embedded words affect reading. Journal of Cognition, 1(1): 40, pp. 1–12. DOI:10.5334/joc.45. DOI:10.5334/joc.45.

Snell, J., Mathôt, S., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2018). Parallel graded attention in reading: A pupillometric study. Scientific Reports, 8 (1), 3743. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-22138-7.〉

Snell, J., van Leipsig, S., Grainger, J. & Meeter, M. (2018). OB1-reader: A model of word recognition and eye movements in text reading. Psychological Review, 125, 969-984. DOI:10.1037/rev0000119.


Beyersmann, E., Grainger, J., & Castles, A. (2019). Embedded stems as a bootstrapping mechanism for morphological parsing during reading development. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 182, 196–210. DOI:10.1016/j.jecp.2019.01.010.

Declerck, M., Eben, C., & Grainger, J. (2019). A different perspective on domain-general language control using the flanker task. Acta Psychologica, 198, 102884. DOI:10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.102884.

Ktori, M., Bertrand, D., & Grainger, J. (2019). What’s special about orthographic processing: Further evidence from transposition effects in same-different matching.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72, 1780-1789. DOI:10.1177/1747021818811448.

Meade, G., Grainger, J., & Holcomb, P. J. (2019). Task modulates ERP effects of orthographic neighborhood for pseudowords but not words. Neuropsychologia, 129, 385–396. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.02.014

Meade, G., Grainger, J., Midgley, K. J., Holcomb, P. J., & Emmorey, K. (2019). ERP Effects of masked orthographic neighbour priming in deaf readers. Language Cognition and Neuroscience, 34(8), 1016–1026. DOI:10.1080/23273798.2019.1614201

Mirault, J., Snell, J., & Grainger, J. (2019a). Reading without spaces: The role of precise letter order. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 81, 846-860. DOI:10.3758/s13414-018-01648-6.

Mirault, J., Snell, J., & Grainger, J. (2019b). Reading without spaces revisited: The role of word identification and sentence-level constraints. Acta Psychologica, 195, 22-29. DOI:10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.03.001.

Pegado, F. & Grainger, J. (2019). Dissociating lexical and sublexical contributions to transposed-word effects. Acta Psychologica, 201, 102943. DOI:10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.102943.

Snell, J. & Grainger, J. (2019). Word position coding in reading is noisy. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 26, 609-615. DOI:10.3758/s13423-019-01574-0 .

Snell, J. & Grainger, J. (2019). Readers are parallel processors. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 23, 537-546. DOI:10.1016/j.tics.2019.04.006.

Snell, J., Meade, G., Meeter, M., Holcomb, P.J., & Grainger, J. (2019). An electrophysiological investigation of orthographic spatial integration in reading. Neuropsychologia, 129, 276-283. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.04.009.

Vandendaele, A., Snell, J., & Grainger, J. (2019). Letter migration errors reflect spatial pooling of orthographic information. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 81, 2026-2036. DOI:10.3758/s13414-019-01746-z.

Wen, Y., Snell, J., & Grainger, J. (2019). Parallel, cascaded, interactive processing of words during sentence reading. Cognition, 189, 221-226. DOI:10.1016/j.cognition.2019.04.013.


Beyersmann, E., Grainger, J., & Taft, M. (2020). Evidence for embedded word length effects in complex nonwords. Language Cognition and Neuroscience, 35(2), 235–245. DOI:10.1080/23273798.2019.1659989

Beyersmann, E., Mousikou, P., Javourey-Drevet, L., Schroeder, S., Ziegler, J. C., & Grainger, J. (2020). Morphological Processing across Modalities and Languages. Scientific Studies of Reading, 24(6), 500–519. DOI:10.1080/10888438.2020.1730847.

Cauchi, C., Lété, B., & Grainger, J. (2020). Orthographic and phonological contributions to flanker effects. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 82, 3571-3580. DOI:10.3758/s13414-020-02023-0.

Declerck, M. (2020). What about proactive language control? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 27(1), 24–35. DOI:10.3758/s13423-019-01654-1

Declerck, M., Ivanova, I., Grainger, J., & Dunabeitia, J. A. (2020). Are similar control processes implemented during single and dual language production? Evidence from switching between speech registers and languages. Bilingualism-Language and Cognition, 23(3), 694–701. DOI:10.1017/S1366728919000695.

Deckerck, M., Wen, Y., Snell, J., Meade, G., & Grainger, J. (2020). Unified syntax in the bilingual mind. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 27, 149-154. DOI:10.3758/s13423-019-01666-x.

Dufour, S., & Grainger, J. (2020). The influence of word frequency on the transposed-phoneme priming effect. Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 82(6), 2785–2792. 10.3758/s13414-020-02060-9.

Meade, G., Grainger, J., Midgley, K. J., Holcomb, P. J., & Emmorey, K. (2020). An ERP investigation of orthographic precision in deaf and hearing readers. Neuropsychologia, 146, 107542. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2020.107542

Meeter, M. Marzouki, Y. Avramiea, A.E., Snell, J., & Grainger, J. (2020). The role of attention in word recognition: Results from OB1-reader. Cognitive Science, e12846. DOI:10.1111/cogs.12846.

Mirault, J. & Grainger, J. (2020). On the time it takes to judge grammaticality. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73, 1460-1465. DOI:10.1177/1747021820913296.

Mirault, J., Guerre-Genton, A., Dufau, S., & Grainger, J. (2020). Using virtual reality to study reading: An eye-tracking investigation of transposed-word effects. Methods in Psychology, 100029. DOI:10.1016/j.metip.2020.100029.

Mirault, J., Yeaton, J., Broqua, F., Dufau, S., Holcomb, P.J., & Grainger, J. (2020). Parafoveal-on-foveal repetition effects in sentence reading: A co-registered eye-tracking and EEG study. Psychophysiology, 57, e13553. DOI:10.1111/psyp.13553.

Pegado, F. & Grainger, J. (2020). A transposed-word effect in same-different judgments to sequences of words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 46, 1364-1371. DOI:10.1037/xlm0000776.

Vandendaele, A., Declerck, M., Grainger, J., & Snell, J. (2020). How readers process syntactic input depends on their goals. Acta Psychologica, 203, 103006. DOI:10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103006.


Beyersmann, E., Montani, V., Ziegler, J. C., Grainger, J., & Stoianov, I. P. (2021). The dynamics of reading complex words: Evidence from steady-state visual evoked potentials. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 15919. DOI:10.1038/s41598-021-95292-0.

Beyersmann, E., Mousikou, P., Schroeder, S., Javourey-Drevet, L., Ziegler, J. C., & Grainger, J. (2021). The dynamics of morphological processing in developing readers: A cross-linguistic masked priming study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 208, 105140. DOI:10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105140.

Di Liberto, G. M., Nie, J., Yeaton, J., Khalighinejad, B., Shamma, S. A., & Mesgarani, N. (2021). Neural representation of linguistic feature hierarchy reflects second-language proficiency. Neuroimage, 227, 117586. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117586.

Dufour, S., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2021). Do you want /?oloka/ on a /bistok/? On the scope of transposed-phoneme effects with non-adjacent phonemes. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 28(5), 1668–1678. DOI:10.3758/s13423-021-01926-9.

Fernández-López, M., Mirault, J., Grainger, J., & Perea, M. (2021). How resilient is reading to letter rotations? A parafoveal preview investigation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 47, 2029-2042. DOI:10.1037/xlm0000999.

Grainger, J., & Beyersmann, E. (2021). Effects of Lexicality and Pseudo-Morphological Complexity on Embedded Word Priming. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 47(3), 518–531. DOI:10.1037/xlm0000878

Grainger, J., Snell, J., & Beyersmann, E. (2021). Morphological processing in the flankers task. Language Cognition and Neuroscience, 36(3), 288–295. 10.1080/23273798.2020.1810292

Kerr, E., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2021). On non-adjacent letter repetition and orthographic processing. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 28, 596-609. DOI:10.3758/s13423-020-01837-1.

Massol, S., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2021). The contribution of semantics to the sentence superiority effect. Scientific Reports, 11, 1-6. DOI:10.1038/s41598-021-99565-6.

Massol, S. & Grainger, J. (2021). The sentence superiority effect in young readers. Developmental Science, 24, e13033. DOI:10.1111/desc.13033.

Meade, G., Declerck, M., Holcomb, P.J., & Grainger, J. (2021). Parallel semantic processing in the flankers task: Evidence from the N400. Brain and Language, 104965. DOI:10.1016/j.bandl.2021.104965 .

Meade, G., Grainger, J., & Declerck, M. (2021). Friend or foe? Flankers reverse the direction of orthographic neighborhood effects. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 36, 535-542. DOI:10.1080/23273798.2020.1849750.

Meade, G., Mahnich, C., Holcomb, P. J., & Grainger, J. (2021). Orthographic neighborhood density modulates the size of transposed-letter priming effects. Cognitive Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 21, 948-959. DOI:10.3758/s13415-021-00905-w.

Mirault, J., Albrand, J.-P., Lassault, J., Grainger, J., & Ziegler, J. C. (2021). Using Virtual Reality to Assess Reading Fluency in Children. Frontiers in Education, 6, 693355. 10.3389/feduc.2021.693355.

Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2021). Single word reading in the “real” world: Effects of transposed-letters. Journal of Cognition, 4(1): 27, pp. 1–8. DOI:10.5334/joc.160. 

Mirault, J., Massol, S., & Grainger, J. (2021). An algorithm for analyzing cloze test results. Methods in Psychology, 100064. DOI:10.1016/j.metip.2021.100064.

Pegado, F. & Grainger, J. (2021). On the noisy spatiotopic encoding of word positions during reading: Evidence form the change detection task. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 28, 189-196. DOI:10.3758/s13423-020-01819-3.

Pegado, F., Torres, A. R., Weissheimer, J., & Ribeiro, S. (2021). A protocol to examine the learning effects of ‘multisystem mapping’ training combined with post-training sleep consolidation in beginning readers. STAR Protocols, 2(3). DOI:10.1016/j.xpro.2021.100712

Pegado, F., Wen, Y., Mirault, J., Dufau, S., & Grainger, J. (2021). An ERP investigation of transposed-word effects in same-different matching, Neuropsychologia, 153, 107753. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2021.107753.

Scaltritti, M., Grainger, J., & Dufau, S. (2021). Letter and word identification in the fovea and parafovea. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 83, 2071-2082. DOI:10.3758/s13414-021-02273-6.

Snell, J., Cauchi, C., Grainger, J., & Lété, B. (2021). Attention extends beyond single words in beginning readers. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 83, 238-246. DOI:10.3758/s13414-020-02184-y.

Wen, Y., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2021a). Fast syntax in the brain: ERP evidence from the RPVP paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 47, 99-112. DOI:10.1037/xlm0000811.

Wen, Y., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2021b). The transposed-word effect revisited: the role of syntax in word position coding. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 36, 668-673. DOI:10.1080/23273798.2021.1880608.


Armando, M., Grainger, J., & Dufau, S. (2022). Multi-LEX: a database of multi-word frequencies for French and English. Behavior Research Methods. DOI:10.3758/s13428-022-02018-9.

Brossette, B., Grainger, J., Lété, B., & Dufau, S. (2022). On the relations between letter, word, and sentence processing during reading. Scientific Reports, 12, 17735. DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-22587-1.

Cauchi, C., Beyersmann, E., Lété, B, & Grainger, J. (2022). A developmental perspective on morphological processing in the flankers task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 221, 105448. DOI:10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105448.

Dufour, S., & Grainger, J. (2022). When You Hear /Bakset/ Do You Think /Basket/? Evidence for Transposed-Phoneme Effect With Multisyllabic Words. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 48(1), 9. DOI:10.1037/xlm0000978.

Dufour, S., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2022a). Transposed-word effects in speeded grammatical decisions to sequences of spoken words. Scientific Reports, 12:22035. DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-26584-2.

Dufour, S., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2022b). Investigating the locus of transposed-phoneme effects using cross-modal priming. Acta Psychologica, 226, 103578. DOI:10.1016/j.actpsy.2022.103578.

Fournet, C., Mirault, J., Perea, M., & Grainger, J. (2022). Effects of letter case on processing sequences of written words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 48, 1995–2003. DOI:10.1037/xlm0001179.

Grainger, J. (2022). Word recognition 1: visual and orthographic processes. In M. J. Snowling, C. Hulme, & K. Nation (Eds.). The Science of Reading: A Handbook (2nd edition), pp 60-78. John Wiley. DOI:10.1002/9781119705116.ch3.

Javourey-Drevet, L., Dufau, S., Francois, T., Gala, N., Ginestie, J., & Ziegler, J. C. (2022). Simplification of literary and scientific texts to improve reading fluency and comprehension in beginning readers of French. Applied Psycholinguistics, 43(2), 485–512. DOI:10.1017/S014271642100062X.

Javourey-Drevet, L., Dufau, S., Ziegler, J. C., & Gala, N. (2022, June). HIBOU: an eBook to improve Text Comprehension and Reading Fluency for Beginning Readers of French. In Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Tools and Resources to Empower People with REAding DIfficulties (READI) within the 13th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (pp. 39-45)..

Massol, S. & Grainger, J. (2022). Effects of horizontal displacement and intercharacter spacing on transposed-character effects in same-different matching. PLOS ONE, 17, e0265442. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0265442.

Meade, G., Grainger, J., & Holcomb, P. J. (2022). Language Dominance Modulates Transposed-Letter N400 Priming Effects in Bilinguals. In Journal of Cognition, 5(1). DOI:10.5334/JOC.203.

Mirault, J., Declerck, M., & Grainger, J. (2022). Fast priming of grammatical decisions: repetition and transposed-word effects. Royal Society Open Science, 9, 211082. DOI:10.1098/rsos.211082.

Mirault, J., Leflaëc, C., & Grainger, J. (2022). Orthographic relatedness and transposed-word effects in the grammatical decision task. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 84, 1043-1051. DOI:10.3758/s13414-021-02421-y.

Mirault, J., Massol, S., & Grainger, J. (2022). Effects of non-adjacent letter repetition in the same-different matching task. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 37, 1292 – 1302. DOI:10.1080/23273798.2022.2061022.

Mirault, J., Vandendaele, A., Pegado, F., & Grainger, J. (2022). Transposed word effects when reading serially. PLOS ONE, 17(11): e0277116. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0277116.

Ordonez-Magro, L., Mirault, J., Grainger, J., & Majerus, S. (2022).  Sequential versus simultaneous presentation of memoranda in verbal working memory: (How) does it matter? Memory & Cognition, 50, 1756–1771. DOI:10.3758/s13421-022-01284-4.

Ordonez-Magro, L., Fagot, J., Grainger, J., & Rey, A. (2022). On the role of interference in sequence learning in Guinea baboons (Papio papio). Learning and Behavior, in press. 10.3758/s13420-022-00537-1.

Snell, J., Grainger, J., & Meeter, M. (2022).  Relative letter position coding revisited. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 29, 995 - 1002. DOI:10.3758/s13423-021-02039-z.

Vandendaele, A. & Grainger, J. (2022). Now you see it, now you don’t: Flanker presence induces the word concreteness effect. Cognition, 218, 104945. DOI:10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104945.

Wen, Y., Mirault, J., & Grainger, J. (2022). A transposed-word effect on word-in-sequence identification. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 29, 2284-2292. DOI:10.3758/s13423-022-02132-x.

Winsler, K., Grainger, J., & Holcomb, P.J. (2022). On letter-specific crowding and reading: Evidence from ERPs. Neuropsychologia, 176, 108396. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2022.108396.

Yeaton, J. & Grainger, J. (2022). Positional cueing, string location variability, and letter-in-string identification, Acta Psychologica, 223, 103510. DOI:10.1016/j.actpsy.2022.103510.

In press (2023)

Fournet, C., Mirault, J., Perea, M., & Grainger, J. (2023). Effects of alternating letter case on processing sequences of written words. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, in press.

Snell, J., Mirault, J., Theeuwes, J., & Grainger, J. (2023). Readers use word length information to determine word order. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, in press