Readers tend to skip words, particularly when they are short, frequent, or predictable. Angele and Rayner (2013) recently reported that readers are often unable to detect syntactic anomalies in parafoveal vision. In the present study, we manipulated target word predictability to assess whether contextual constraint modulates the-skipping behavior. The results provide further evidence that readers frequently skip the article the when infelicitous in context. Readers skipped predictable words more often than unpredictable words, even when the, which was syntactically illegal and unpredictable from the prior context, was presented as a parafoveal preview. The results of the experiment were simulated using E-Z Reader 10 by assuming that cloze probability can be dissociated from parafoveal visual input. It appears that when a short word is predictable in context, a decision to skip it can be made even if the information available parafoveally conflicts both visually and syntactically with those predictions.
We performed two eye movement studies to explore whether readers can extract character or word frequency information from nonfixated-target words in Chinese reading. In Experiments 1A and 1B, we manipulated the character frequency of the first character in a two-character target word and the word frequency of a two-character target word, respectively. We found that fixation durations on the pre-target words were shorter when the first character of a two-character target word was presented with high frequency. Such effects were not observed for word frequency manipulations of a two-character target word. In particular, further analysis revealed that such effects only occurred for long pre-target fixations. These results for character and word frequency manipulations were replicated in a within-subjects design in Experiment 2. These findings are generally consistent with the notion that characters are processed in parallel during Chinese reading. However, we did not find evidence that words are processed in parallel during Chinese reading.
Chinese reading; eye movements; parafoveal-on-foveal effect; character processing; word processing
Semantic preview benefit in reading is an elusive and controversial effect because empirical studies do not always (but sometimes) find evidence for it. Its presence seems to depend on (at least) the language being read, visual properties of the text (e.g., initial letter capitalization), the type of relationship between preview and target, and as shown here, semantic constraint generated by the prior sentence context. Schotter (2013) reported semantic preview benefit for synonyms, but not semantic associates when the preview/target was embedded in a neutral sentence context. In Experiment 1, we embedded those same previews/targets into constrained sentence contexts and in Experiment 2 we replicated the effects reported by Schotter (2013; in neutral sentence contexts) and Experiment 1 (in constrained contexts) in a within-subjects design. In both experiments, we found an early (i.e., first-pass) apparent preview benefit for semantically associated previews in constrained contexts that went away in late measures (e.g., total time). These data suggest that sentence constraint (at least as manipulated in the current study) does not operate by making a single word form expected, but rather generates expectations about what kinds of words are likely to appear. Furthermore, these data are compatible with the assumption of the E-Z Reader model that early oculomotor decisions reflect “hedged bets” that a word will be identifiable and, when wrong, lead the system to identify the wrong word, triggering regressions.
Levels of illiteracy in the deaf populations around the world have been extremely
high for decades and much higher than the illiteracy levels found in the general
population. Research has mostly focused on deaf readers’ difficulties rather than
on their strengths, which can then inform reading education. Deaf readers are a unique
population. They process language and the world surrounding them mostly via the visual
channel and this greatly affects how they read or might learn to read. The study of eye
movements in reading provides highly sophisticated information about how words and
sentences are processed and our research with deaf readers reveals the importance of their
Deaf readers; eye movements; reading skill; perceptual span; word processing
We used a display change detection paradigm (Slattery, Angele, & Rayner Human Perception and Performance, 37, 1924–1938 2011) to investigate whether display change detection uses orthographic regularity and whether detection is affected by the processing difficulty of the word preceding the boundary that triggers the display change. Subjects were significantly more sensitive to display changes when the change was from a nonwordlike preview than when the change was from a wordlike preview, but the preview benefit effect on the target word was not affected by whether the preview was wordlike or nonwordlike. Additionally, we did not find any influence of preboundary word frequency on display change detection performance. Our results suggest that display change detection and lexical processing do not use the same cognitive mechanisms. We propose that parafoveal processing takes place in two stages: an early, orthography-based, preattentional stage, and a late, attention-dependent lexical access stage.
Eye movements; Reading; Display changes; Gaze-contingent boundary paradigm; Display change detection
We investigated how orthographic and phonological information is activated during reading, using a fast priming task, and during single word recognition, using masked priming. Specifically, different types of overlap between prime and target were contrasted: high orthographic and high phonological overlap (track-crack), high orthographic and low phonological overlap (bear-gear), or low orthographic and high phonological overlap (fruit-chute). In addition, we examined whether (orthographic) beginning overlap (swoop-swoon) yielded the same priming pattern as end (rhyme) overlap (track-crack). Prime durations were 32 and 50ms in the fast priming version, and 50ms in the masked priming version, and mode of presentation (prime and target in lower case) was identical. The fast priming experiment showed facilitatory priming effects when both orthography and phonology overlapped, with no apparent differences between beginning and end overlap pairs. Facilitation was also found when prime and target only overlapped orthographically. In contrast, the masked priming experiment showed inhibition for both types of end overlap pairs (with and without phonological overlap), and no difference for begin overlap items. When prime and target only shared principally phonological information, facilitation was only found with a long prime duration in the fast priming experiment, while no differences were found in the masked priming version. These contrasting results suggest that fast priming and masked priming do not necessarily tap into the same type of processing.
eye movements; fast priming; visual word recognition; orthography; phonology
A major controversy in reading research is whether semantic information is obtained from the word to the right of the currently fixated word (word n+1). While most evidence has been negative in English, semantic preview benefit has been observed for readers of Chinese and German. In the present experiment, we investigated whether the discrepancy between English and German may be due to a difference in visual properties of the orthography: the first letter of a noun is always capitalized in German, but is only occasionally capitalized in English. This visually salient property may draw greater attention to the word during parafoveal preview and thus increase preview benefit generally (and lead to a greater opportunity for semantic preview benefit). We used English target nouns that can either be capitalized (e.g., We went to the critically acclaimed Ballet of Paris while on vacation.) or not (e.g., We went to the critically acclaimed ballet that was showing in Paris.) and manipulated the capitalization of the preview accordingly, to determine if capitalization modulates preview benefit in English. The gaze-contingent boundary paradigm was used with identical, semantically related, and unrelated previews. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found numerically larger preview benefits when the preview/target was capitalized than when it was lowercase. Crucially, semantic preview benefit was not observed when the preview/target word was not capitalized, but was observed when the preview/target word was capitalized.
reading; eye movements; semantic preview benefit
In contrast to earlier research, evidence for semantic preview benefit in reading has been reported by Hohenstein and Kliegl (2013) in an alphabetic writing system; they also implied that prior demonstrations of a lack of semantic preview benefit needed to be re-examined. In the present article we report a rather direct replication of an experiment reported by Rayner, Balota, and Pollatsek (1986). Using the gaze-contingent boundary paradigm, subjects read sentences that contained a target word (razor), but different preview words were initially presented in the sentence. The preview was either identical to the target word (i.e., razor), semantically related to the target word (i.e., blade), semantically unrelated to the target word (i.e., sweet), or a visually similar non-word (i.e., razar). When the reader's eyes crossed an invisible boundary location just to the left of the target word location, the preview changed to the target word. Like Rayner et al. (1986), we found that fixations on the target word were significantly shorter in the identical condition than in the unrelated condition, which did not differ from the semantically related condition; when an orthographically similar preview had been initially present in the sentence fixations were shorter than when a semantically unrelated preview had been present. Thus, the present experiment replicates the earlier data reported by Rayner et al. (1986) indicating evidence for orthographic preview benefit, but a lack of semantic preview benefit in reading English.
reading; eye movements; semantic preview benefit
In a previous gaze-contingent boundary experiment, Angele and Rayner (2012) found that readers are likely to skip a word that appears to be the definite article the even when syntactic constraints do not allow for articles to occur in that position. In the present study, we investigated whether the word frequency of the preview of a three-letter target word influences a reader’s decision to fixate or skip that word. We found that the word frequency rather than the felicitousness (syntactic fit) of the preview affected how often the upcoming word was skipped. These results indicate that visual information about the upcoming word trumps information from the sentence context when it comes to making a skipping decision. Skipping parafoveal instances of the therefore may simply be an extreme case of skipping high-frequency words.
Speakers access information from objects they will name but have not looked at yet, indexed by preview benefit—faster processing of the target when a preview object previously occupying its location was related compared to unrelated. This suggests that speakers distribute attention over multiple objects, but does not reveal the time course of processing of a current and to-be-named object. Is preview benefit a consequence of attention shifting to the next-to-be-named object shortly before the eyes move to that location, or does preview benefit reflect a more unconstrained deployment of attention to upcoming objects? Using the multiple object-naming paradigm with a gaze-contingent display change manipulation, we addressed this issue by manipulating the latency of the onset of the preview (SOA) and whether the preview represented the same concept as (but a different visual token of) the target or an unrelated concept. Results revealed that preview benefit was robust, regardless of the latency of the preview onset (SOA) or the latency of the saccade to the target (the lag between preview offset and fixation on the target). Together, these data suggest that preview benefit is not restricted to the time during an attention shift preceding an eye movement, and that speakers are able to take advantage of information from non-foveal objects whenever they are visually available.
Parallel Processing; Object Naming; Eye Movements; Attention
In three experiments, we tested three possible mechanisms for segmenting overlapping ambiguous strings in Chinese reading. The first two characters and the last two characters in a 3-character ambiguous string could both constitute a word in the reported studies. The left-priority hypothesis assumes that the word on the left has an advantage in the competition and the other word cannot be processed until the word on the left is recognized. The independent processing hypothesis assumes that words in different positions are processed simultaneously and independently, and the word segmentation ambiguity cannot be settled without the help of sentence context. The competition hypothesis assumes that all of the words compete for a single winner. The results support a competition account that the characters in the perceptual span activate all of the words they can constitute, and any word can win the competition if its activation is high enough.
word segmentation; eye movements; competition hypothesis; word frequency; Chinese reading
While much previous work on reading in languages with alphabetic scripts has suggested that reading is word-based, reading in Chinese has been argued to be less reliant on words. This is primarily because in the Chinese writing system words are not spatially segmented, and characters are themselves complex visual objects. Here, we present a systematic characterization of the effects of a wide range of word and character properties on eye movements in Chinese reading, using a set of mixed-effects regression models. The results reveal a rich pattern of effects of the properties of the current, previous, and next words on a range of reading measures, which is strikingly similar to the pattern of effects of word properties reported in spaced alphabetic languages. This finding provides evidence that reading shares a word-based core and may be fundamentally similar across languages with highly dissimilar scripts. We show that these findings are robust to the inclusion of character properties in the regression models, and are equally reliable when dependent measures are defined in terms of characters rather than words, providing strong evidence that word properties have effects in Chinese reading above and beyond characters. This systematic characterization of the effects of word and character properties in Chinese advances our knowledge of the processes underlying reading and informs the future development of models of reading. More generally, however, this work suggests that differences in script may not alter the fundamental nature of reading.
Chinese reading; eye movements; mixed-effects regression
It is well-known that word frequency and predictability affect processing time. These effects change magnitude across tasks, but studies testing this use tasks with different response types (e.g., lexical decision, naming, and fixation time during reading; Schilling, Rayner & Chumbley, 1998), preventing direct comparison. Recently, Kaakinen and Hyönä (2010) overcame this problem, comparing fixation times in reading for comprehension and proofreading, showing that the frequency effect was larger in proofreading than in reading. This result could be explained by readers exhibiting substantial cognitive flexibility, and qualitatively changing how they process words in the proofreading task in a way that magnifies effects of word frequency. Alternatively, readers may not change word processing so dramatically, and instead may perform more careful identification generally, increasing the magnitude of many word processing effects (e.g., both frequency and predictability). We tested these possibilities with two experiments: subjects read for comprehension and then proofread for spelling errors (letter transpositions) that produce nonwords (e.g., trcak for track as in Kaakinen & Hyönä) or that produce real but unintended words (e.g., trial for trail) to compare how the task changes these effects. Replicating Kaakinen and Hyönä, frequency effects increased during proofreading. However, predictability effects only increased when integration with the sentence context was necessary to detect errors (i.e., when spelling errors produced words that were inappropriate in the sentence; trial for trail). The results suggest that readers adopt sophisticated word processing strategies to accommodate task demands.
reading; eye movements; task effects; frequency; predictability
Numerous studies have demonstrated effects of word frequency on eye movements during reading, but the precise timing of this influence has remained unclear. The fast priming paradigm (Sereno & Rayner, 1992) was previously used to study influences of related versus unrelated primes on the target word. Here, we used this procedure to investigate whether the frequency of the prime word has a direct influence on eye movements during reading when the prime-target relation is not manipulated. We found that with average prime intervals of 32 ms readers made longer single fixation durations on the target word in the low than in the high frequency prime condition. Distributional analyses demonstrated that the effect of prime frequency on single fixation durations occurred very early, supporting theories of immediate cognitive control of eye movements. Finding prime frequency effects only 207 ms after visibility of the prime and for prime durations of 32 ms yields new time constraints for cognitive processes controlling eye movements during reading. Our variant of the fast priming paradigm provides a new approach to test early influences of word processing on eye movement control during reading.
Eye movements; Reading; Fast-priming; Word frequency; Distributional Analyses
Recent research has shown contextual diversity (i.e., the number of passages in which a given word appears) to be a reliable predictor of word processing difficulty. It has also been demonstrated that word-frequency has little or no effect on word recognition speed when accounting for contextual diversity in isolated word processing tasks. An eye-movement experiment was conducted wherein the effects of word-frequency and contextual diversity were directly contrasted in a normal sentence reading scenario. Subjects read sentences with embedded target words which varied in word frequency and contextual diversity. All first-pass and later reading times were significantly longer for words with lower contextual diversity compared to words with higher contextual diversity when controlling for word-frequency and other important lexical properties. Furthermore, there was no difference in reading times for higher frequency and lower frequency words when controlling for contextual diversity. The results confirm prior findings regarding contextual diversity and word-frequency effects and demonstrate that contextual diversity is a more accurate predictor of word processing speed than word-frequency within a normal reading task.
word-frequency; contextual diversity; eye movements; reading
Previous studies have shown that a plausible preview word can facilitate the processing of a target word as compared to an implausible preview word (a plausibility preview benefit effect) when reading Chinese (Yang, Wang, Tong, & Rayner, 2012; Yang, 2013). Regarding the nature of this effect, it is possible that readers processed the meaning of the plausible preview word and did not actually encode the target word (given that the parafoveal preview word lies close to the fovea). The current experiment examined this possibility with three conditions wherein readers received a preview of a target word that was either (1) identical to the target word (identical preview), (2) a plausible continuation of the pre-target text, but the post-target text in the sentence was incompatible with it (initially plausible preview), or (3) not a plausible continuation of the pre-target text, nor compatible with the post-target text (implausible preview). Gaze durations on target words were longer in the initially plausible condition than the identical condition. Overall, the results showed a typical preview benefit, but also implied that readers did not encode the initially plausible preview. Also, a plausibility preview benefit was replicated: gaze durations were longer with implausible previews than the initially plausible ones. Furthermore, late eye movement measures did not reveal differences between the initially plausible and the implausible preview conditions, which argues against the possibility of misreading the plausible preview word as the target word. In sum, these results suggest that a plausible preview word provides benefit in processing the target word as compared to an implausible preview word, and this benefit is only present in early but not late eye movement measures.
plausibility preview benefit; eye movements; Chinese
Many deaf individuals do not develop the high-level reading skills that will allow them to fully take part into society. To attempt to explain this widespread difficulty in the deaf population, much research has honed in on the use of phonological codes during reading. The hypothesis that the use of phonological codes is associated with good reading skills in deaf readers, though not well supported, still lingers in the literature. We investigated skilled and less-skilled adult deaf readers’ processing of orthographic and phonological codes in parafoveal vision during reading by monitoring their eye movements and using the boundary paradigm. Orthographic preview benefits were found in early measures of reading for skilled hearing, skilled deaf, and less-skilled deaf readers, but only skilled hearing readers processed phonological codes in parafoveal vision. Crucially, skilled and less-skilled deaf readers showed a very similar pattern of preview benefits during reading. These results support the notion that reading difficulties in deaf adults are not linked to their failure to activate phonological codes during reading.
deaf readers; orthographic code; phonological code; eye movements; preview benefits; word processing; reading level
It is well established that fixation durations during reading vary with processing difficulty, but there are different views on how oculomotor control, visual perception, shifts of attention, and lexical (and higher cognitive) processing are coordinated. Evidence for a one-to-one translation of input delay into saccadic latency would provide a much needed constraint for current theoretical proposals. Here, we tested predictions of such a direct-control perspective using the stimulus-onset delay (SOD) paradigm. Words in sentences were initially masked and, upon fixation, were individually unmasked with a delay (0-ms, 33-ms, 66-ms, 99-ms SODs). In Experiment 1, SODs were constant for all words in a sentence; in Experiment 2, SODs were manipulated on target words, while non-targets were unmasked without delay. In accordance with predictions of direct control, non-zero SODs entailed equivalent increases in fixation durations in both experiments. Yet, a population of short fixations pointed to rapid saccades as a consequence of low-level information at non-optimal viewing positions rather than of lexical processing. Implications of these results for theoretical accounts of oculomotor control are discussed.
stimulus-onset delay (SOD); oculomotor control; fixation durations; sentence reading
Compared to skilled adult readers, children typically make more fixations that are longer in duration, shorter saccades, and more regressions, thus reading more slowly (Blythe & Joseph, 2011). Recent attempts to understand the reasons for these differences have discovered some similarities (e.g., children and adults target their saccades similarly; Joseph, Liversedge, Blythe, White, & Rayner, 2009) and some differences (e.g., children’s fixation durations are more affected by lexical variables; Blythe, Liversedge, Joseph, White, & Rayner, 2009) that have yet to be explained. In this article, the E-Z Reader model of eye-movement control in reading (Reichle, 2011; Reichle, Pollatsek, Fisher, & Rayner, 1998) is used to simulate various eye-movement phenomena in adults vs. children in order to evaluate hypotheses about the concurrent development of reading skill and eye-movement behavior. These simulations suggest that the primary difference between children and adults is their rate of lexical processing, and that different rates of (post-lexical) language processing may also contribute to some phenomena (e.g., children’s slower detection of semantic anomalies; Joseph et al., 2008). The theoretical implications of this hypothesis are discussed, including possible alternative accounts of these developmental changes, how reading skill and eye movements change across the entire lifespan (e.g., college-aged vs. older readers), and individual differences in reading ability.
Computer model; Eye movements; E-Z Reader; Lexical access; Reading; Reading skill
Previous research indicates that removing initial strokes from Chinese characters makes them harder to read than removing final or internal ones. In the present study, we examined the contribution of important components to character configuration via singular value decomposition. The results indicated that when the least important segments, which did not seriously alter the configuration (contour) of the character, were deleted, subjects read as fast as when no segments were deleted. When the most important segments, which are located in the left side of a character and written first, were deleted, reading speed was greatly slowed. These results suggest that singular value decomposition, which has no information about stroke writing order, can identify the most important strokes for Chinese character identification. Furthermore, they also suggest that contour may be correlated with stroke writing order.
Readers continuously receive parafoveal information about the upcoming word in addition to the foveal information about the currently fixated word. Previous research (Inhoff, Radach, Starr, & Greenberg, 2000) showed that the presence of a parafoveal word which was similar to the foveal word facilitated processing of the foveal word. In three experiments, we used the gaze-contingent boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) to manipulate the parafoveal information that subjects received before or while fixating a target word (e.g. news) within a sentence. Specifically a reader’s parafovea could contain a repetition of the target (news), a correct preview of the post-target word (once), an unrelated word (warm), random letters (cxmr), a nonword neighbor of the target (niws), a semantically related word (tale), or a nonword neighbor of that word (tule). Target fixation times were significantly lower in the parafoveal repetition condition than in all other conditions, suggesting that foveal processing can be facilitated by parafoveal repetition. We present a simple model framework that can account for these effects.
In this selective review, we examine key findings on eye movements when viewing advertisements. We begin with a brief, general introduction to the properties and neural underpinnings of saccadic eye movements. Next, we provide an overview of eye movement behavior during reading, scene perception, and visual search, since each of these activities is, at various times, involved in viewing ads. We then review the literature on eye movements when viewing print ads and warning labels (of the kind that appear on alcohol and tobacco ads), before turning to a consideration of advertisements in dynamic media (television and the Internet). Finally, we propose topics and methodological approaches that may prove to be useful in future research.
advertising; eye movements; visual attention; saccades; marketing
Do we access information from any object we can see, or do we only access information from objects that we intend to name? In three experiments using a modified multiple object naming paradigm, subjects were required to name several objects in succession when previews appeared briefly and simultaneously in the same location as the target as well as at another location. In Experiment 1, preview benefit—faster processing of the target when the preview was related (a mirror image of the target) compared to unrelated (semantically and phonologically)—was found for the preview in the target location but not a location that was never to be named. In Experiment 2, preview benefit was found if a related preview appeared in either the target location or the third-to-be-named location. Experiment 3 showed the difference between results from the first two experiments was not due to the number of objects on the screen. These data suggest that attention serves to gate visual input about objects based on the intention to name them, and that information from one intended-to-be-named object can facilitate processing of an object in another location.
Parallel Processing; Object Naming; Eye Movements; Attention
Whether readers always identify words in the order they are printed is subject to considerable debate. In the present study, we used the gaze-contingent boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) to manipulate the preview for a two-word target region (e.g. white walls in My neighbor painted the white walls black). Readers received an identical (white walls), transposed (walls white), or unrelated preview (vodka clubs). We found that there was a clear cost of having a transposed preview compared to an identical preview, indicating that readers cannot or do not identify words out of order. However, on some measures, the transposed preview condition did lead to faster processing than the unrelated preview condition, suggesting that readers may be able to obtain some useful information from a transposed preview. Implications of the results for models of eye movement control in reading are discussed.
Eye movements; reading; parafoveal processing; preview benefit; word order
The illiteracy rate in the deaf population has been alarmingly high for several decades, despite the fact that deaf children go through the standard stages of schooling. Much research addressing this issue has focused on word-level processes, but in the recent years, little research has focused on sentence-levels processes. Previous research (Fischler, 1985) investigated word integration within context in college-level deaf and hearing readers in a lexical decision task following incomplete sentences with targets that were congruous or incongruous relative to the preceding context; it was found that deaf readers, as a group, were more dependent on contextual information than their hearing counterparts. The present experiment extended Fischler’s results and investigated the relationship between frequency, predictability, and reading skill in skilled hearing, skilled deaf, and less-skilled deaf readers. Results suggest that only less-skilled deaf readers, and not all deaf readers, rely more on contextual cues to boost word processing. Additionally, early effects of frequency and predictability were found for all three groups of readers, without any evidence for an interaction between frequency and predictability.
Deaf readers; eye movements; reading skill; predictability effects; frequency effects