Parallel Orthographic Processing and Reading

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




As of June 2020, 47 scientific full-articles since 2017.

See the Aix-Marseille repository for articles and more ( HAL-AMU ) or the associated PDF document.



As of June 2020


Petroula Mousikou, Elisabeth Beyersmann, Maria Ktori, Ludivine Javourey-Drevet, Davide Crepaldi, Johannes C Ziegler, Johannes Ziegler, Jonathan Grainger, and Sascha Schroeder. Orthographic consistency influences morphological processing in reading aloud: Evidence from a cross-linguistic study. Developmental Science, March 2020. doi: 10.1111/desc.12952. URL https://hal-amu.

Aaron Vandendaele, Mathieu Declerck, Jonathan Grainger, and Joshua Snell. How read- ers process syntactic input depends on their goals. Acta Psychologica, January 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103006. URL

Mathieu Declerck, Iva Ivanova, Jonathan Grainger, and Jon Andoni Dun ̃abeitia. Are similar control processes implemented during single and dual language production? Evidence from switching between speech registers and languages. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, September 2019a. doi: 10.1017/S1366728919000695. URL

Sophie Dufour and Jonathan Grainger. Phoneme-Order Encoding During Spoken Word Recognition: A Priming Investigation. Cognitive Science, 43(10):1–16, September 2019. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12785. URL

Veronica Montani, Val ́erie C Chanoine, Jonathan Grainger, and Johannes C Ziegler. Frequency-tagged visual evoked responses track syllable effects in visual word recognition. Cortex, August 2019a. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2019.08.014. URL

Elisabeth Beyersmann, Jonathan Grainger, and Anne Castles. Embedded stems as a bootstrapping mechanism for morphological parsing during reading development. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 182:196–210, June 2019a. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2019.01.010. URL https://hal-amu.

Aaron Vandendaele, Joshua Snell, and Jonathan Grainger. Letter migration errors reflect spatial pooling of orthographic information. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, May 2019. doi: 10.3758/s13414-019-01746-z. URL

Veronica Montani, Val ́erie C Chanoine, Ivilin Stoianov, Jonathan Grainger, and Johannes Ziegler. Steady state visual evoked potentials in reading aloud: Effects of lexicality, frequency and ortho- graphic familiarity. Brain and Language, 192:1–14, May 2019b. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2019.01.004. URL

Mathieu Declerck, Charlotte Eben, and Jonathan Grainger. A different perspective on domain- general language control using the flanker task . Acta Psychologica, April 2019b. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.102884. URL

Jonathan Mirault, Joshua Snell, and Jonathan Grainger. Reading without spaces: The role of precise letter order. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 81(3):846–860, April 2019a. doi: 10.3758/s13414-018-01648-6. URL

Jonathan Mirault, Joshua Snell, and Jonathan Grainger. Reading without spaces revisited: The role of word identification and sentence-level constraints. Acta Psychologica, 195:22–29, April 2019b. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.03.001. URL

Elisabeth Beyersmann, Deirdre Bolger, Chotiga Pattamadilok, Boris New, Jonathan Grainger, and Jo- hannes Ziegler. Morphological processing without semantics: An ERP study with spoken words. Cor- tex, February 2019b. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2019.02.008. URL https://hal.archives-ouvertes. fr/hal-02047828.

Mathieu Declerck, Yun Wen, Joshua Snell, Gabriela Meade, and Jonathan Grainger. Unified syntax in the bilingual mind. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2019c. doi: 10.3758/s13423-019-01666-x. URL

Yun Wen, Joshua Snell, and Jonathan Grainger. Parallel, cascaded, interactive processing of words during sentence reading. Cognition, 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.04.013. URL https://hal.

Joshua Snell, Gabriela Meade, Martijn Meeter, Phillip Holcomb, and Jonathan Grainger. An elec- trophysiological investigation of orthographic spatial integration in reading. Neuropsychologia, 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.04.009. URL hal-02447438.

Jonathan Grainger and Joshua Snell. Word position coding in reading is noisy. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 2019. doi: 10.3758/s13423-019-01574-0. URL hal-02448204.

Joshua Snell and Jonathan Grainger. Readers Are Parallel Processors Trends in Cognitive Sci- ences. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 23, 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2019.04.006. URL https: //

Felipe Pegado and Jonathan Grainger. Dissociating lexical and sublexical contributions to transposed- word effects. Acta Psychologica, 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.102943. URL https://hal.

Maria Ktori, Daisy Bertrand, and Jonathan Grainger. What’s special about orthographic processing? Further evidence from transposition effects in same-different matching. Quarterly Journal of Exper- imental Psychology, page 174702181881144, November 2018. doi: 10.1177/1747021818811448. URL

Jonathan Mirault, Joshua Snell, and Jonathan Grainger. You That Read Wrong Again! A Transposed-Word Effect in Grammaticality Judgments. Psychological Science, October 2018. doi: 10.1177/0956797618806296. URL

Jonathan Grainger, Mathieu Declerck, and Joshua Snell. A Word on Words in Words: How Do Embedded Words Affect Reading? Journal of Cognition and Culture, 1(1):1 – 12, September 2018. doi: 10.5334/joc.45. URL

Ludovic Ferrand, Alain M ́eot, Elsa Spinelli, Boris New, Christophe Pallier, Patrick Bonin, St ́ephane Dufau, Sebastiaan Mathˆot, and Jonathan Grainger. MEGALEX: A megastudy of visual and auditory word recognition. Behavior Research Methods, 50(3):1285–1307, June 2018. doi: 10.3758/s13428- 017-0943-1. URL

Joshua Snell, Daisy Bertrand, and Jonathan Grainger. Parafoveal letter-position coding in reading. Memory and Cognition, 46(4):589 – 599, May 2018a. doi: 10.3758/s13421-017-0786-0. URL https: //

Joshua Snell, Sebastiaan Mathˆot, Jonathan Mirault, and Jonathan Grainger. Parallel graded attention in reading: A pupillometric study. Scientific Reports, February 2018b. URL https://hal-amu.

Elisabeth C Beyersmann, Yvette Kezilas, Max Coltheart, Anne Castles, Johannes C Ziegler, Marcus Taft, and Jonathan Grainger. Taking the Book from the Bookshelf: Masked Constituent Priming Effects from Compound Words and Nonwords. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 1(1), January 2018. doi: 10.5334/joc.11. URL

Joshua Snell, Sam van Leipsig, Jonathan Grainger, and Martijn Meeter. OB 1-Reader: A Model of Word Recognition and Eye Movements in Text Reading. PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW, 125(6): 969–984, 2018c. URL

Gabriela Meade, Jonathan Grainger, Katherine J. Midgley, Karen Emmorey, and Phillip J. Holcomb. From sublexical facilitation to lexical competition: ERP effects of masked neighbor priming. Brain Research, 1685:29–41, 2018. URL

Joshua Snell and Jonathan Grainger. Parallel word processing in the flanker paradigm has a rightward bias. ATTENTION PERCEPTION & PSYCHOPHYSICS, 80(6):1512–1519, 2018. URL https: //

Elisabeth Beyersmann and Jonathan Grainger. Support From the Morphological Family When Unem- bedding the Stem. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-LEARNING MEMORY AND COGNITION, 44(1):135–142, 2018. URL

Jonathan Grainger. Orthographic processing: A ‘mid-level’ vision of reading: The 44th Sir Frederic Bartlett Lecture. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(2):335–359, January 2018. URL

Joshua Snell, Mathieu Declerck, and Jonathan Grainger. Parallel semantic processing in reading re- visited: effects of translation equivalents in bilingual readers. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(5):563–574, 2018d. URL

Kurt Winsler, Katherine J. Midgley, Jonathan Grainger, and Phillip J. Holcomb. An electrophys- iological megastudy of spoken word recognition. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(8): 1063–1082, 2018. doi: 10.1080/23273798.2018.1455985. URL https://hal.archives-ouvertes. fr/hal-02025223.

Joshua Snell, Daisy Bertrand, Martijn Meeter, and Jonathan Grainger. Integrating Orthographic Information Across Time and Space. Experimental Psychology, 65(1):32 – 39, January 2018e. doi: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000386. URL

Mathieu Declerck, Joshua Snell, and Jonathan Grainger. On the role of language membership in- formation during word recognition in bilinguals: Evidence from flanker-language congruency effects. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 25(2):704–709, 2018. URL https://hal.archives-ouvertes. fr/hal-02025210.

Michele Scaltritti, Stephan Dufau, and Jonathan Grainger. Stimulus orientation and the first- letter advantage. Acta Psychologica, 183:37–42, 2018. URL https://hal.archives-ouvertes. fr/hal-02025221.

Mathieu Declerck, Kristin Lemhofer, and Jonathan Grainger. Bilingual language interference initi- ates error detection: Evidence from language intrusions. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20(5):1010–1016, November 2017a. doi: 10.1017/S1366728916000845. URL https://hal-amu.

Haydee Carrasco-Ortiz, Katherine J. Midgley, Jonathan Grainger, and Phillip J. Holcomb. Interactions in the neighborhood: Effects of orthographic and phonological neighbors on N400 amplitude. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 41:1–10, February 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2016.06.007. URL https: //

Joshua Snell, Francoise Vitu, and Jonathan Grainger. Integration of parafoveal orthographic infor- mation during foveal word reading: beyond the sub-lexical level? Quarterly Journal of Experi- mental Psychology, 70(10):1984–1996, 2017a. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2016.1217247. URL https: //

Sebastiaan Mathˆot, Jonathan Grainger, and Kristof Strijkers. Pupillary Responses to Words That Convey a Sense of Brightness or Darkness. Psychological Science, 28(8):1116–1124, 2017. doi: 10.1177/0956797617702699. URL

Joshua Snell and Jonathan Grainger. The sentence superiority effect revisited. Cognition, 168: 217–221, 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.07.003. URL hal-01619519.

Sophie Dufour, Dierdre Bolger, Stephanie Massol, Phillip J. Holcomb, and Jonathan Grainger. On the locus of talker-specificity effects in spoken word recognition: an ERP study with dichotic priming. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 32(10):1273–1289, 2017. doi: 10.1080/23273798.2017.1335421. URL

Mathieu Declerck, Jonathan Grainger, Iring Koch, and Andrea M. Philipp. Is language control just a form of executive control? Evidence for overlapping processes in language switching and task switching. Journal of Memory and Language, 95:138–145, 2017b. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2017.03.005. URL

Joshua Snell, Martijn Meeter, and Jonathan Grainger. Evidence for simultaneous syntactic pro- cessing of multiple words during reading. PLoS ONE, 12(3):e0173720, 2017b. doi: 10.1371/jour- nal.pone.0173720. URL

Laurie Leibnitz, Jonathan Grainger, Mathilde Muneaux, and st ́ephanie ducrot. Processus Visuo- attentionnels et Lecture : Une synth`ese. Annee Psychologique, page 38, 2017. URL https://hal.

Jonathan Grainger, Mathieu Declerck, and Yousri Marzouki. On national flags and language tags: Effects of flag-language congruency in bilingual word recognition. Acta Psychologica, 178:12–17, 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2017.05.004. URL

Mathieu Declerck and Jonathan Grainger. Inducing asymmetrical switch costs in bilingual language comprehension by language practice. Acta Psychologica, 178:100–106, 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2017.06.002. URL

Kurt Winsler, Phillip J. Holcomb, Katherine J. Midgley, and Jonathan Grainger. Evidence for Sepa- rate Contributions of High and Low Spatial Frequencies during Visual Word Recognition. Fron- tiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 2017. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00324. URL https://hal.