Reconsidering the automaticity of reading: Insights from the Bayesian reader

Ross Day Plenary Lecture

Sachiko Kinoshita, Department of Psychology and Macquarie Centre for Reading, Macquarie University

Visual word recognition in skilled readers is widely assumed to be automatic. In this talk, I will discuss two phenomena that are considered to be the “gold standard” demonstrating the automaticity of reading, namely, the masked priming effect, and the Stroop interference effect, from the perspective of the Bayesian Reader (Norris, 2006, 2009, Norris & Kinoshita, 2008). In contrast to the predominant “activation” view, I will argue that visual word recognition, even when it is involuntary or veiled from awareness, is better characterized as a dynamic process of evidence accumulation guided by the goal of the task.