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Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research 5/2016

29-06-2015 | Original Article

Reading during the composition of multi-sentence texts: an eye-movement study

Auteurs: Mark Torrance, Roger Johansson, Victoria Johansson, Åsa Wengelin

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 5/2016

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Abstract

Writers composing multi-sentence texts have immediate access to a visual representation of what they have written. Little is known about the detail of writers’ eye movements within this text during production. We describe two experiments in which competent adult writers’ eye movements were tracked while performing short expository writing tasks. These are contrasted with conditions in which participants read and evaluated researcher-provided texts. Writers spent a mean of around 13 % of their time looking back into their text. Initiation of these look-back sequences was strongly predicted by linguistically important boundaries in their ongoing production (e.g., writers were much more likely to look back immediately prior to starting a new sentence). 36 % of look-back sequences were associated with sustained reading and the remainder with less patterned forward and backward saccades between words (“hopping”). Fixation and gaze durations and the presence of word-length effects suggested lexical processing of fixated words in both reading and hopping sequences. Word frequency effects were not present when writers read their own text. Findings demonstrate the technical possibility and potential value of examining writers’ fixations within their just-written text. We suggest that these fixations do not serve solely, or even primarily, in monitoring for error, but play an important role in planning ongoing production.
Voetnoten
1
We are not here concerned with fixations that occur concurrently with typing and/or on the word that is currently being typed, or fixations on the keyboard during typing. These are explicitly excluded from our analyses. We, therefore, analyze just situations in which the writer looks back into the text that they have already written. The nature and function of fixations on the word that is currently being typed are interesting but outside of present scope.
 
2
This definition of sustained reading has previously been used to differentiate between reading and scanning behavior in newspaper reading (Holmqvist, Holsanova, Barthelson, & Lundqvist, 2003) and is consistent with how eye movement patterns have been characterized in previous reading research (cf. Engbert et al., 2002; Rayner, 1998). Rayner (1998), summarizing existing research, reports that when reading English, eye movement patterns are to a large degree characterized by saccades moving from left to right on the same line and further demonstrates that saccadic amplitudes above 25 letter spaces are virtually absent in such sequences (Rayner, 1998, figure 1). Regressions (saccades moving from right to left along the same line or back to previous lines) and return sweeps (saccades from the end of one line to the beginning of the next) are, thus, not included in this definition of sustained reading.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Reading during the composition of multi-sentence texts: an eye-movement study
Auteurs
Mark Torrance
Roger Johansson
Victoria Johansson
Åsa Wengelin
Publicatiedatum
29-06-2015
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 5/2016
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-015-0683-8

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