We Store Words as Pictures!
A new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience authored by Laurie S. Glezer, Judy Kim, Josh Rule, Xiong Jiang, and Maximilian Riesenhub reports that after learning new words, readers tend to remember them as a whole, an image, as it were, in a visual dictionary. The authors suggest that those who have difficulty learning words phonologically "might benefit from visual word learning strategies to circumvent the phonologic difficulties and directly train holistic visual word representations" (p. 4971).
For a summary, see: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-03/gumc-aln031815.php
Here's the publication information for the full article: Glezer, L.S., Kim, J., Rule, J., Jiang, X., & Riesenhube, M. (2015, March 25). Adding words to the brain’s visual dictionary: Novel word learning selectively sharpens orthographic representations in the VWFA. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35 (12), 4965–4972.