Behavioral and Neurophysiological Correlates of Orthographic Learning in L1 and L2 Alphabets

Beatriz Bermúdez-Margaretto*, Grigory Kopytin, Andriy Myachykov, Yury Shtyrov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The acquisition of new orthographic representations is a rapid and highly automatic process in monolingual readers. Our study extends existing research to biliterate populations, addressing the impact of phonological inconsistencies across native (L1) and second language (L2) alphabets during orthographic learning. Behavioral and EEG signals were collected from a group of 24 Russian-English biliterates via a reading-aloud task using familiar and novel words repeated across ten consecutive blocks in three Script conditions: (1) native Cyrillic, (2) non-native Roman, and (3) ambiguous (phonologically inconsistent graphemes shared by L1 and L2 alphabets). Linear mixed-effects modelling of both behavioral and ERP data revealed reliable Block x Lexicality x Script interactions, indicating that naming latencies and brain activity changed differently across training blocks for novel and familiar words and, importantly, depending on script presentation. Particularly, novel words presented in the ambiguous script showed longer naming latencies and slower reading automatization than those presented in L1 and L2 alphabets. Nonetheless, despite this interference, their naming latencies matched those of familiar words before the end of the training, suggesting the attribution of their representations in the reader's lexicon. The enhancement of early brain responses observed for these stimuli alongside their training confirmed the improvement in their orthographic analysis and lexical access. Critically, this pattern of results was not found for familiar, already represented words, which exhibited a suppression of their brain activity across repetitions. Overall, our results indicate that phonological inconsistency interferes with novel word encoding but it does not prevent efficient attribution of orthographic representations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cognitive Research, Artificial Intelligence and Neuroinformatics - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Cognitive Sciences, Intercognsci-2020
EditorsBoris M. Velichkovsky, Pavel M. Balaban, Vadim L. Ushakov
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783030716363
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event9th International Conference on Cognitive Sciences, Intercognsci 2020 - Moscow, Russian Federation
Duration: 10 Oct 202016 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Volume1358 AIST
ISSN (Print)2194-5357
ISSN (Electronic)2194-5365


Conference9th International Conference on Cognitive Sciences, Intercognsci 2020
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation


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