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Word skipping: implications for theories of eye movement control in reading

Word skipping: implications for theories of eye movement control in reading
Word skipping: implications for theories of eye movement control in reading
When healthy adults are reading English texts, about one third of the words are skipped. In this chapter, we review the different explanations that have been proposed. We also have an in-depth look at the variables that influence word skipping. These are: errors in the programming and execution of a saccade, the length of the upcoming word n+1 in parafoveal vision, the distance from word n+1 relative to the current fixation location (also known as the launch site), and the difficulty of word n+1 within the sentence. We provide evidence that the effects of word length and distance cannot be explained by assuming that word n+1 is skipped only when it has been identified in parafoveal vision. Rather, readers often seem to make an educated guess about where to send the next forward saccade on the basis of incomplete information. If this guess turns out to be incorrect (and a difficult word has been skipped inappropriately), an immediate correction follows. This is either a regression to the skipped word or a longer fixation duration. In that way, eye movements remain closely coupled to the ongoing language processing.
0 19 85 66808
53-77
Oxford University Press
Brysbaert, Marc
dfe6bf7d-27f6-4546-82ca-375769276ad5
Drieghe, Denis
dfe41922-1cea-47f4-904b-26d5c9fe85ce
Vitu, Françoise
c916cdbd-fc95-412d-a999-db0140c99d2e
Underwood, Geoffry
Brysbaert, Marc
dfe6bf7d-27f6-4546-82ca-375769276ad5
Drieghe, Denis
dfe41922-1cea-47f4-904b-26d5c9fe85ce
Vitu, Françoise
c916cdbd-fc95-412d-a999-db0140c99d2e
Underwood, Geoffry

Brysbaert, Marc, Drieghe, Denis and Vitu, Françoise (2005) Word skipping: implications for theories of eye movement control in reading. In, Underwood, Geoffry (ed.) Cognitive Processes in Eye Guidance. Oxford, GB. Oxford University Press, pp. 53-77.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

When healthy adults are reading English texts, about one third of the words are skipped. In this chapter, we review the different explanations that have been proposed. We also have an in-depth look at the variables that influence word skipping. These are: errors in the programming and execution of a saccade, the length of the upcoming word n+1 in parafoveal vision, the distance from word n+1 relative to the current fixation location (also known as the launch site), and the difficulty of word n+1 within the sentence. We provide evidence that the effects of word length and distance cannot be explained by assuming that word n+1 is skipped only when it has been identified in parafoveal vision. Rather, readers often seem to make an educated guess about where to send the next forward saccade on the basis of incomplete information. If this guess turns out to be incorrect (and a difficult word has been skipped inappropriately), an immediate correction follows. This is either a regression to the skipped word or a longer fixation duration. In that way, eye movements remain closely coupled to the ongoing language processing.

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Published date: September 2005

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 145103
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/145103
ISBN: 0 19 85 66808
PURE UUID: faf8fce1-1e57-4db9-81c3-af992eb4fff2

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Date deposited: 25 Jun 2010 10:57
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:07

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Contributors

Author: Marc Brysbaert
Author: Denis Drieghe
Author: Françoise Vitu
Editor: Geoffry Underwood

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