The Four-Part Processing Model for word recognition is a simplified model that illustrates how the brain reads or recognizes words. (Based on Seidenberg & McClelland, 1989)
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging studies have shown the directionality of brain processes when seeing/hearing a word.
- Orthographic processor: letter recognition
- When you see or hear a word, the orthographic processor makes a visual image of the letters
- Phonological processor: sound recognition
- The phonics “letterbox”
- Once the word is heard or read, the brain connects the letters/graphemes and sounds/phonemes
- Meaning processor:
- All known meanings of the word are actively engaged
- Context processor: Confirming meaning
Watch Dr. Carol Tolman introduce her Tolman Hourglass Figure and its relation to the Four-Part Processor.