Word skipping: Implications for theories of eye movement control in reading.

Marc Brysbaert, D Drieghe, F Vitu, G Underwood (Editor)

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When proficient readers are reading English texts, about one third of the words are skipped. In this chapter, we review the different explanations that have been proposed. we also have an in-depth look at the variables that influence word skipping. These are: errors in the programming and execution of a saccade, the length of the upcoming word n+1 in parafoveal vision, the distance from word n+1 within the sentence. we provide evidence that the effects of word length and distance cannot be explained by assuming that word n+1 is skipped only when it has been identified in parafoveal vision. rather, readers often seem to make an educated guess about where to send the next forward saccade on the basis of incomplete information. If this guess turns out to be incorrect (and a difficult word has been skipped inappropriately), an immediate correction follows. This is either a regression to the skipped word or a longer fixation duration. In that way, eye movements remain closely coupled to the ongoing language processing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWord skipping: Implications for theories of eye movement control in reading
Place of PublicationOxford
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005

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