Re: [xmca] reading ability is genetic!? (read this one!)

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Wed Sep 20 2006 - 05:35:06 PDT

Here's a paper by this group:
They prove that differential reading ability in people is genetic using ...


At 05:51 PM 20/09/2006 +0700, you wrote:
>I poked my nose into the paper and found the following, which may
>explain the psycholinguistic framework they're working within.
>"Another key issue that we wish to explore is the role of semantics.
>One possibility that needs to be considered is that the independent
>genetic variance that we have found to be associated with irregular
>word reading in fact reflects the genetic effect of semantics. That
>is, as irregular words activate semantics, while nonwords do not,
>this semantic factor accounts for the necessity to propose
>independent genetic influences on these two reading skills (a
>hypothesis consistent with connectionist models such as those of
>Plaut et al., 1996). This possibility can be explicitly examined
>within a twin sample by separately assessing semantic performance in
>addition to irregular word and nonword reading (for instance by
>verbally asking subjects to define words). If irregular word reading
>cannot be achieved without semantics, this measured semantic
>performance should load on the same genetic factor that explains
>irregular word reading. If, on the other hand, semantics is a
>cognitive module independent of lexical processing, then a good fit
>to these three variables should require a new, additional genetic
>On 20/09/2006, at 4:58 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>Can anyone deal with this stupidity:
>>I haven't read the research and it's not my discipline, but I heard
>>the Macquarie University guy interviewed on Radio National last
>>year, and his thesis is based on data comparing the reading ability
>>of kids arriving at primary school, and presuming that any
>>difference in ability must be genetic, because there is nothing
>>between birth and arriving at school which he thinks could affect
>>ability to learn to read. ... or is there so much of this rubbish
>>about that it's not worth contesting? I mean these people get
>>government money for purveying this stuff!
>>xmca mailing list
>xmca mailing list

  Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, AIM
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