Attention and eye-movement control in reading: the selective reading paradigm

Reingold, Eyal, Sheridan, Heather, Meadmore, Katie, Drieghe, Denis and Liversedge, Simon Paul orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8579-8546 (2016) Attention and eye-movement control in reading: the selective reading paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42 (12). pp. 2003-2020. ISSN 0096-1523

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We introduced a novel paradigm for investigating covert attention and eye-movement control in reading. In 2 experiments, participants read sentence words (shown in blue color) while ignoring interleaved distractor strings (shown in orange color). Each single-line text display contained a target word and a critical distractor. Critical distractors were located just prior to the target in the text and were either words or symbol strings (e.g., @#%&amp;). Target word availability for parafoveal processing (i.e., preview validity) was also manipulated. The results indicated much shallower processing of distractors than targets and this pattern was more pronounced for symbol than word distractors. The influences of word frequency and fixation location on first-pass fixation durations on distractors were dramatically different than the well-documented pattern obtained in normal reading. Robust preview benefits were demonstrated both when the critical<br/> distractors were fixated and when the critical distractors were skipped. Finally, with the exception of larger preview benefits that were obtained in the condition in which the target and critical distractor were identical, the magnitude of the preview effect was largely unaffected by the nature of the critical distractor. Implications of the present paradigm and findings to the study of eye-movement control in reading are discussed.

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