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Mindless reading: Eye-movement characteristics are similar in scanning letter strings and reading texts

Compared oculomotor behavior of readers (24 undergraduates) scanning meaningful and meaningless materials. Four conditions were used: a normal-text-reading control condition and 3 experimental conditions in which the amount of linguistic processing was reduced either by presenting the Ss with repeated letter strings or by asking the Ss to search for a target letter in texts or letter strings. Global eye-movement characteristics (e.g., saccade size, fixation duration) and local characteristics (e.g., word-skipping rate, landing site, refixation probability, refixation position) were similar in the 4 conditions. The finding that the eyes are capable of generating an autonomous oculomotor scanning strategy in the absence of any linguistic information to process supports the idea that such predetermined oculomotor strategies might be a determinant of eye movements in reading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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