Eye movement control during reading: Effects of word frequency and orthographic familiarity
journal contributionposted on 19.06.2008, 09:08 by Sarah J. White
Word frequency and orthographic familiarity were independently manipulated as readers' eye movements were recorded. Word frequency influenced fixation durations and the probability of word skipping when orthographic familiarity was controlled. These results indicate that lexical processing of words can influence saccade programming (as shown by fixation durations and which words are fixated). Orthographic familiarity, but not word frequency, influenced the duration of prior fixations. These results provide evidence for orthographic, but not lexical, parafoveal-on-foveal effects. Overall, the findings have a crucial implication for models of eye movement control in reading: There must be sufficient time for lexical factors to influence saccade programming before saccade metrics and timing are finalized. The conclusions are critical for the fundamental architecture of models of eye movement control in reading- namely, how to reconcile long saccade programming times and complex linguistic influences on saccades during reading.