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Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00073

Does the relation between Rapid Automatized Naming and reading depend on age or on reading level? A behavioral and ERP study

  • 1Psychology, Université de Genève, Switzerland

Reading predictors evolve through age: phonological awareness is the best predictor of reading abilities at the beginning of reading acquisition while Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) becomes the best reading predictor in more experienced readers (around 9-10 years old). Those developmental changes in the relationship between RAN and reading have so far been explained in term of participants’ age. However, it should be noted that in the previous experiments age always co-vary with participants reading level. It is thus not clear whether RAN-reading relationship is developmental in nature or related to the reading system itself. This study investigates whether the behavioral changes in the relationship between RAN and reading and their electrophysiological correlates are related to the chronological age or to the reading level of the participants. 32 French-speaking children aged 7 to 10 years took part to the experiment: they were divided into groups contrasted on age but with similar reading levels and the other way round. Participants performed two reading tasks and four RAN tasks. EEG/ERP was recorded during discrete letter and picture RAN. Behavioral results revealed that alphanumeric RAN is more sensitive to age variations than reading level differences. The inverse profile was revealed for picture RAN, which discriminate poor and good readers among typically developed children within the same age-group. ERPs of both letter and picture RAN differed across age groups whereas only for the picture RAN ERPs differed across reading levels. Taken together, these results suggest that picture RAN is a particularly good indicator of reading level variance independently of age.

Keywords: reading, rapid automatized naming (RAN), ERP, Children, french

Received: 16 Oct 2017; Accepted: 09 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Nandini C. Singh, National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), India

Reviewed by:

Jarmo Hamalainen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Simon Fischer-Baum, Rice University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Cohen, Mahé, Laganaro and Zesiger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mrs. Marjolaine Cohen, Université de Genève, Psychology, boulevard du pont d'arve 42, Geneva, 1211, Switzerland, marjolaine.cohen@unige.ch