ERIC Number: ED228615
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Perceptual Span for Letter Distinctions during Reading. Technical Report No. 272.
Underwood, N. R.; McConkie, G. W.
A study investigated the size of the perceptual span within which adults use visual information to distinguish among letters as they read. The eye movements of fifteen college students were monitored as they read passages from a cathode-ray tube. On occasional fixations, letters in specified visual regions were replaced by other letters. The effects of this manipulation were observed on subjects' eye movement patterns. Results showed that erroneous letters lying four or more letter positions to the left of the fixated letter, or eight or more to the right, had no discernible effect on reading. In addition, there was no evidence to indicate that prior research in which letters were replaced on every fixation had underestimated the size of the perceptual span. The fact that the study yielded a smaller estimate of the perceptual span and showed smaller effects from letter replacement than have previous studies can be explained by methodological differences in the aspect of the text stimulus being studied. (Materials used in the study are appended.) (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.