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Saccade size control in reading: Evidence for the linguistic control hypothesis

In Exp I with 40 paid adult Ss, it was found that during reading the eye made larger saccades near long words than near short words. The effects were reduced when S's peripheral vision was diminished by the use of a moving "window" centered on S's fixation point, outside of which letters were replaced by X's. In Exp II with 7 undergraduates, it was found that even if linguistic predictions were kept constant, the eye tended to make longer jumps when approaching THE than when approaching a 3-letter verb. This "THE-skipping" effect was weaker if THE was compared with an auxiliary than if it was compared with a less frequently occurring verb. It follows that knowledge of the lexicon can combine with information from peripheral vision fast enough to influence saccade size. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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