Reading during the composition of multi-sentence texts: an eye-movement study
Writers composing multi-sentence texts have immediate access to a visual representation of what they have written. Little is known about the detail of writers’ eye movements within this text during production. We describe two experiments in which competent adult writers’ eye movements were tracked while performing short expository writing tasks. These are contrasted with conditions in which participants read and evaluated researcher-provided texts. Writers spent a mean of around 13 % of their time looking back into their text. Initiation of these look-back sequences was strongly predicted by linguistically important boundaries in their ongoing production (e.g., writers were much more likely to look back immediately prior to starting a new sentence). 36 % of look-back sequences were associated with sustained reading and the remainder with less patterned forward and backward saccades between words (“hopping”). Fixation and gaze durations and the presence of word-length effects suggested lexical processing of fixated words in both reading and hopping sequences. Word frequency effects were not present when writers read their own text. Findings demonstrate the technical possibility and potential value of examining writers’ fixations within their just-written text. We suggest that these fixations do not serve solely, or even primarily, in monitoring for error, but play an important role in planning ongoing production.
KeywordsFixation Duration Reading Sequence Saccadic Amplitude Expository Text Lexical Retrieval
The research reported in the first part of this paper was funded by the Swedish Research Council (grant no. 2009–2004) and supported by the Linnaeus Center for Thinking in Time: Cognition, Communication and Learning (CCL) at Lund University, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council (grant no. 349-2007-8695). We would like to thank Sol Simpson, Johan Dahl, Henrik Karlsson, and Sven Strömqvist for programming and other support. Preparation of this paper was supported by a grant to the first author from the Norwegian Reading Centre, University of Stavanger.
- Alamargot, D., Dansac, C., Chesnet, D., & Fayol, M. (2007). Parallel processing before and after pauses: a combined analysis of graphomotor and eye movements during procedural text production. In M. Torrance, L. Van Waes, & D. Galbraith (Eds.), Writing and cognition: Research and applications (pp. 13–29). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Alamargot, D., Flouret, L., Larocque, D., Caporossi, G., Pontart, V., Paduraru, C., & Fayol, M. (2014). Successful written subject–verb agreement: an online analysis of the procedure used by students in Grades 3, 5 and 12. Reading and Writing, 28, 291–312. doi: 10.1007/s11145-014-9525-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Alamargot, D., Plane, S., Lambert, E., & Chesnet, D. (2010). Using eye and pen movements to trace the development of writing expertise: case studies of a 7th, 9th and 12th grader, graduate student, and professional writer. Reading and Writing, 23, 853–888. doi: 10.1007/s11145-009-9191-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Andersson, B., Dahl, J., Holmqvist, K., Holsanova, J., Johansson, V., Karlsson, H., & Wengelin, Å. (2006). Combining keystroke logging with eye tracking. In L. Van Waes, M. Leijten, & C. Neuwirth (Eds.), Writing and digital media (pp. 166–172). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Baayen, R. H., Piepenbrock, R., & Gulikers, L. (1995). The CELEX lexical database. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia, Linguistic Data Consortium.Google Scholar
- Flower, L., & Hayes, J. (1980). The dynamics of composing: making plans and juggling constraints. In L. W. Gregg & E. R. Steinberg (Eds.), Cognitive processes in writing (pp. 31–50). Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Holmqvist, K., Holsanova, J., Barthelson, M., & Lundqvist, D. (2003). Reading or scanning? A study of newspaper and net paper reading. In J. Hyönä, R. Radach, & H. Deubel (Eds.), The mind’s eye: Cognitive and applied aspects of eye movement research (pp. 657–670). Amsterdam: North Holland.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Inhoff, A., Briihl, D., Bohemier, G., & Wang, J. (1992). Eye-hand span and coding of text during copytyping. Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning Memory and Cognition, 18(2), 298–306. <Go to ISI>://A1992HG32900006.Google Scholar
- Postma, A. (2000). Detection of errors during speech production: a review of speech monitoring models. Cognition, 77(2), 97–131. <Go to ISI>://000090031700002.Google Scholar
- Pynte, J., New, B., & Kennedy, A. (2008). A multiple regression analysis of syntactic and semantic influences in reading normal text. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 2(4), 1–11. http://www.jemr.org/online/2/1/4.
- Sanders, T., & Schilperoord, J. (2006). Text structure as a window on the cognition of writing: how text analysis provides insights in writing products and writing processes. In C. A. Macarthur, S. Graham, & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Handbook of writing research (pp. 386–401). New York: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
- Strömqvist, S., & Karlsson, H. (2000). Scriptlog for windows—user’s manual. Lund: Department of Linguistics, Lund University and Centre for Reading Research, University College of Stavanger.Google Scholar
- Torrance, M. (2015). Understanding planning in text production. In C. MacArthur, S. Graham, & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Handbook of writing research (2nd ed.). New York: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
- Torrance, M., & Nottbusch, G. (2012). Written production of single words and simple sentences. In V. Berninger (Ed.), Past, present, and future contributions of cognitive writing research to cognitive psychology (pp. 403–422). New York: Taylor Francis.Google Scholar
- Wengelin, Å. (2006). Examining pauses in writing: theory, methods and empirical data. In K. Sullivan & E. Lindgren (Eds.), Computer key-stroke logging and writing (pp. 107–130). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Wengelin, Å., Torrance, M., Holmqvist, K., Simpson, S., Galbraith, D., Johansson, V., & Johansson, R. (2009). Combined eyetracking and keystroke-logging methods for studying cognitive processes in text production. Behavior Research Methods, 41(2), 337–351. doi: 10.3758/BRM.41.2.337.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar