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The effects of interword spacing on the eye movements of young and older readers

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journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2016, 15:12 by Victoria A. McGowan, Sarah J. White, Kevin B. Paterson
Recent evidence indicates that older adults (aged 65+) are more disrupted by removing interword spaces than young adults (aged 18-30). However, it is not known whether older readers also show greater sensitivity to the more subtle changes to this spacing that frequently occur during normal reading. In the present study the eye movements of young and older adults were examined when reading texts for which interword spacing was normal, condensed to half its normal size or expanded to 1.5 times its normal size. Although these changes in interword spacing affected eye movement behaviour, this influence did not differ between young and older adults. Furthermore, a word frequency manipulation showed that these changes did not affect word identification for either group. The results indicate that older adults can adapt their eye moment behaviour to accommodate subtle changes in the spatial layout of text equally effectively as young adults.

History

Citation

Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Special Issue: Developmental eye-tracking research in reading, 2015, 27 (5), pp. 609-621

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/MBSP Non-Medical Departments/Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Journal of Cognitive Psychology

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCOP)

issn

2044-5911

eissn

2044-592X

Copyright date

2015

Available date

18/01/2016

Publisher version

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20445911.2014.988157

Notes

This file is under embargo for 12 months from publication.

Language

en

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