Breaking down the word length effect on readers’ eye movements
Hautala, J., & Loberg, O. (2015). Breaking down the word length effect on readers’ eye movements. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30(8), 993-1007. https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2015.1049187
Published inLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
© 2015 Taylor & Francis
Previous research on the effect of word length on reading confounded the number of letters (NrL) in a word with its spatial width. Consequently, the extent to which visuospatial and attentional-linguistic processes contribute to the word length effect on parafoveal and foveal vision in reading and dyslexia is unknown. Scholars recently suggested that visual crowding is an important factor for determining an individual’s reading speed in fluent and dyslexic reading. We studied whether the NrL or the spatial width of target words affects fixation duration and saccadic measures in natural reading in fluent and dysfluent readers of a transparent orthography. Participants read natural sentences presented in a proportional font that contained spatially narrow and wide four- to seven-letter target words. The participants looked at spatially narrow words overall for a longer duration partially due to more frequent regressions, which showed that crowding can disrupt word recognition during normal reading. In addition, reliable NrL effects on fixation duration suggest that letters are important attentional units during reading. Saccadic measures including relative landing position, refixation and skipping probability were strongly affected by spatial width and slightly affected by the NrL, which suggests that saccadic programming and parafoveal processing of upcoming words are limited by visual acuity more than by attentional factors. The dysfluent readers overall had longer fixation durations for words but did not show larger crowding or NrL effects. ...
Publication in research information system
MetadataShow full item record
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Programme, AoF
Additional information about fundingThe working of JH was supported by the Academy of Finland [grant number 269102] for years 2013–2014, [grant number 274022] and [grant number 274050] for year 2015. The working of OL was supported by the grant from Eino Jutikkala foundation governed by Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, and Grant from Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä.
Showing items with similar title or keywords.
Dissociating spatial and letter-based word length effects observed in readers' eye movement patterns Hautala, Jarkko; Hyönä, Jukka; Aro, Mikko (Elsevier, 2011)In previous eye movement research on word length effects, spatial width has been confounded with the number of letters. McDonald (2006) unconfounded these factors by rendering all words in sentences in constant spatial ...
Hautala, Jarkko (University of Jyväskylä, 2012)
Hautala, Jarkko; Ronimus, Miia; Junttila, Enni (Routledge, 2022)A randomized controlled trial was conducted to study the effectiveness of two readers’ theater (RT) programs in promoting reading skills and motivation of dysfluent readers in Grades 3–4. One program (RT Goal) included a ...
Influence of reading skill and word length on fixation-related brain activity in school-aged children during natural reading Loberg, Otto; Hautala, Jarkko; Hämäläinen, Jarmo A.; Leppänen, Paavo H.T. (Elsevier Ltd, 2019)Word length is one of the main determinants of eye movements during reading and has been shown to influence slow readers more strongly than typical readers. The influence of word length on reading in individuals with ...
Task-oriented reading efficiency : interplay of general cognitive ability, task demands, strategies and reading fluency Hautala, Jarkko; Salmerón, Ladislao; Tolvanen, Asko; Loberg, Otto; Leppänen, Paavo (Springer, 2022)The associations among readers’ cognitive skills (general cognitive ability, reading skills, and attentional functioning), task demands (easy versus difficult questions), and process measures (total fixation time on relevant ...