Serial processing in Reading aloud: No challenge for a parallel model

Marco Zorzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


K. Rastle and M. Coltheart (1999) challenged parallel models of reading by showing that the cost of irregularity in low-frequency exception words was modulated by the position of the irregularity in the word. This position-of-irregularity effect was taken as strong evidence of serial processing in reading. This article refutes Rastle and Coltheart's theoretical conclusions in 3 ways: First, a parallel model, the connectionist dual process model (M. Zorzi, G. Houghton & B. Butterworth, 1998b), produces a position-of-irregularity effect. Second, the supposed serial effect can be reduced to a position-specific grapheme-phoneme consistency effect. Third, the position-of-irregularity effect vanishes when the experimental data are reanalyzed using grapheme-phoneme consistency as the covariate. This demonstration has broader implications for studies aiming at adjudicating between models: Strong inferences should be avoided until the computational models are actually tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-856
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Serial processing in Reading aloud: No challenge for a parallel model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this