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Eye movements during reading and topic scanning: effects of word frequency



Eye movements during reading and topic scanning: effects of word frequency



Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance 41(1): 233-248



The study examined the nature of eye movement control and word recognition during scanning for a specific topic, compared with reading for comprehension. Experimental trials included a manipulation of word frequency: the critical word was frequent (and orthographically familiar) or infrequent (2 conditions: orthographically familiar and orthographically unfamiliar). First-pass reading times showed effects of word frequency for both reading and scanning, with no interactions between word characteristics and task. Therefore, in contrast to the task of searching for a single specific word (Rayner & Fischer, 1996), there were immediate and localized influences of lexical processing when scanning for a specific topic, indicating that early word recognition processes are similar during reading and topic scanning. In contrast, there were interactions for later measures, with larger effects of word frequency during reading than scanning, indicating that reading goals can modulate later processes such as the integration of words into sentence context. Additional analyses of the distribution of first-pass single fixation durations indicated that first-pass fixations of all durations were shortened during scanning compared with reading, and reading for comprehension produced a larger subset of longer first-pass fixations compared with scanning. The implications for the nature of word recognition and eye movement control are discussed.

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Accession: 057851455

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25528014

DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000020


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