Studies about sentence reading have shown that visual and lexical information beyond the currently fixated word can be integrated across fixations. The gaze-contingent boundary paradigm has been used widely to explore the extent to which parafoveal information can be processed before a word is fixated on. However, a critical review of the current literature suggests that unrelated mask previews are an unlikely baseline control with zero lexical activation, blurring the nature of experimental effects observed in the paradigm. The present study, therefore, aimed at shedding light on the effect of parafoveal mask properties through a manipulation of preview word frequency. Low-frequency preview words that are unrelated to target words elicited a larger interference than high-frequency preview words. We discuss implications of the preview frequency effect for computational models of eye-movement control in reading.