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ERIC Number: EJ1074540
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Determinants of Scanpath Regularity in Reading
von der Malsburg, Titus; Kliegl, Reinhold; Vasishth, Shravan
Cognitive Science, v39 n7 p1675-1703 Sep 2015
Scanpaths have played an important role in classic research on reading behavior. Nevertheless, they have largely been neglected in later research perhaps due to a lack of suitable analytical tools. Recently, von der Malsburg and Vasishth (2011) proposed a new measure for quantifying differences between scanpaths and demonstrated that this measure can recover effects that were missed with the traditional eyetracking measures. However, the sentences used in that study were difficult to process and scanpath effects accordingly strong. The purpose of the present study was to test the validity, sensitivity, and scope of applicability of the scanpath measure, using simple sentences that are typically read from left to right. We derived predictions for the regularity of scanpaths from the literature on oculomotor control, sentence processing, and cognitive aging and tested these predictions using the scanpath measure and a large database of eye movements. All predictions were confirmed: Sentences with short words and syntactically more difficult sentences elicited more irregular scanpaths. Also, older readers produced more irregular scanpaths than younger readers. In addition, we found an effect that was not reported earlier: Syntax had a smaller influence on the eye movements of older readers than on those of young readers. We discuss this interaction of syntactic parsing cost with age in terms of shifts in processing strategies and a decline of executive control as readers age. Overall, our results demonstrate the validity and sensitivity of the scanpath measure and thus establish it as a productive and versatile tool for reading research.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A