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ERIC Number: EJ1142910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
The Importance of Reading Naturally: Evidence from Combined Recordings of Eye Movements and Electric Brain Potentials
Metzner, Paul; von der Malsburg, Titus; Vasishth, Shravan; Rösler, Frank
Cognitive Science, v41 suppl 6 p1232-1263 May 2017
How important is the ability to freely control eye movements for reading comprehension? And how does the parser make use of this freedom? We investigated these questions using coregistration of eye movements and event-related brain potentials (ERPs) while participants read either freely or in a computer-controlled word-by-word format (also known as RSVP). Word-by-word presentation and natural reading both elicited qualitatively similar ERP effects in response to syntactic and semantic violations (N400 and P600 effects). Comprehension was better in free reading but only in trials in which the eyes regressed to previous material upon encountering the anomaly. A more fine-grained ERP analysis revealed that these regressions were strongly associated with the well-known P600 effect. In trials without regressions, we instead found sustained centro-parietal negativities starting at around 320 ms post-onset; however, these negativities were only found when the violation occurred in sentence-final position. Taken together, these results suggest that the sentence processing system engages in strategic choices: In response to words that don't match built-up expectations, it can either explore alternative interpretations (reflected by regressions, P600 effects, and good comprehension) or pursue a "good-enough" processing strategy that tolerates a deficient interpretation (reflected by progressive saccades, sustained negativities, and relatively poor comprehension).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: HD065829