By the same authors

From the same journal

Individual differences in verbal short-term memory and reading aloud: semantic compensation fo weak phonological processing across tasks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Full text download(s)



Publication details

JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Oct 2018
Original languageEnglish


According to contemporary accounts, linguistic behaviour reflects the interaction of distinct representations supporting word meaning and phonology. However, there is controversy about the extent to which this interaction occurs within task-specific systems, specialised for reading and short-term memory, as opposed to between components that support the full range of linguistic tasks. We examined whether individual differences in the efficiency of phonological
processing would relate to the application of lexical-semantic knowledge to support verbal short-term memory, single word reading and repetition. In a sample of 83 participants we related nonword performance in each task (as a marker of phonological capacity in the absence of meaning) to the effects of word imageability (a lexical-semantic variable). We found stronger reliance on lexical-semantic knowledge in participants with weaker phonological processing.
This relationship held across tasks, suggesting that lexical-semantic processing can compensate for phonological weakness which would otherwise give rise to poor performance. Our results are consistent with separable yet interacting primary systems for phonology and semantics, with lexical-semantic knowledge supporting pattern completion within the phonological system in a similar way across short-term memory and reading tasks.

Bibliographical note

This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations