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Literacy influences cognitive abilities far beyond the mastery of written language

Huettig, F. (2015). Literacy influences cognitive abilities far beyond the mastery of written language. In I. van de Craats, J. Kurvers, & R. van Hout (Eds.), Adult literacy, second language, and cognition. LESLLA Proceedings 2014. Nijmegen: Centre for Language Studies.
Recent experimental evidence from cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience shows that reading acquisition has non-trivial consequences for cognitive processes other than reading per se. In the present chapter I present evidence from three areas of cognition: phonological processing, prediction in language processing, and visual search. These findings suggest that literacy on cognition influences are far-reaching. This implies that a good understanding of the dramatic impact of literacy acquisition on the human mind is an important prerequisite for successful education policy development and guidance of educational support.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

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