Parafoveal preview benefit in unspaced and spaced Chinese reading

Cui, Lei, Drieghe, Denis, Bai, Xuejun, Yan, Guoli and Liversedge, Simon Paul orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8579-8546 (2014) Parafoveal preview benefit in unspaced and spaced Chinese reading. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67 (11). pp. 2172-2188. ISSN 1747-0218

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In an eye movement experiment during reading, we compared parafoveal preview benefit during the reading of Chinese sentences either in the familiar, unspaced format or with spaces inserted between the words. Single-character words or the first of a two-character word were either presented normally or were replaced by a pseudocharacter in the preview. Results indicate that word spacing increased the parafoveal preview benefit but only for the one-character target words. We hypothesized that the incorrect preview of the first character of the two-character word prevented parafoveal processing of the ensuing character(s), effectively nullifying any benefits from the spacing. Our results suggest that word boundary demarcation allows for more precise focusing of attention.

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