Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
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Applicability of dual-route reading models to Spanish

Alfredo Ardila1 and Fernando Cuetos2

1 Florida International University and
2 Universidad de Oviedo

Two opposing points of view have been presented with regard to the applicability of the dual-route reading models  Spanish. Some authors maintain that, given the transparency of the reading system, non-lexical reading is the strategy followed predominantly by Spanish readers and for that reason these models are not appropriate to explain alexias (acquired dyslexias) in Spanish. Other authors, consider that since several cases of phonological, surface and deep alexia have been reported, dual-route reading models are applicable to Spanish in the same way that to the irregular writing systems. In order to contrast these two points of view, an analysis of the two main factors that influence the reading is made: characteristics of the Spanish orthography and characteristics of the Spanish readers. It is conclude that, (1) Due to its transparency, non-lexical reading represents –as in other transparent orthographies-- the initial reading strategy in Spanish; (2) the “reading threshold” (i.e., time required to become literate) is lower in Spanish because there are no irregular words to learn; (3) as reading experience increases, speed increases and lexical reading becomes used more; (4) Given the characteristics of the Spanish reading system, it is understandable that frequency of deep dyslexia is so low.

Aplicabilidad de los modelos de lectura de doble ruta al español. Se han propuesto dos puntos de vista diferentes con relación a la aplicabilidad de los modelos de lectura de doble ruta al español. Algunos autores sugieren que dada la transparencia del sistema de lectura, la lectura no-léxica es la estrategia predominante en los lectores españoles, y esos modelos no son apropiados para explicar las alexias (dislexias adquiridas) en español. Otros autores consideran que, puesto que se han reportado varios casos de alexia fonológica, superficial y profunda en hispanohablantes, los modelos de doble ruta son aplicables al español. Para contrastar estas dos perspectivas se realizó un análisis de los dos principales factores que influyen en la lectura: las características del sistema ortográfico y las características del lector hispanohablante. Se concluye: (1) Dada su transparencia, la lectura fonológica representa la estrategia inicial de lectura; (2) el “umbral de lectura” (tiempo requerido para aprender a leer) es más bajo en español ya que no hay palabras irregulares; (3) a medida que aumenta la experiencia lectora, aumenta la velocidad y la lectura léxica se hace progresivamente más frecuente; (4) dadas las características del sistema de lectura español, es comprensible que la frecuencia con la que aparecen casos de  dislexia profunda sea tan baja.


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