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Effects of contextual constraint on eye movements in reading: A further examination

Abstract

The effect of contextual constraint on eye movements in reading was examined by asking subjects to read sentences that contained a target word that varied in contextual constraint; high-, medium-, or low-constraint target words were used. Subjects fixated low-constraint target words longer than they did either high- or medium-constraint target words. In addition, they skipped high-constraint words more than they did either medium- or low-constraint target words. The results further confirm that contextual constraint has a strong influence on eye movements during reading.

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Correspondence to Keith Rayner.

Additional information

This research was supported by Grant DBS91-21375 from the National Science Foundation and Grant HD26765 from the National Institutes of Health. The first author was also supported by a Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH01255). We thank Lori Rogg for her assistance in collecting and analyzing the data and Charles Clifton, Jukka Hyona, Betty Ann Levy, Randi Martin, and Marilyn Smith for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.

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Rayner, K., Well, A.D. Effects of contextual constraint on eye movements in reading: A further examination. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 3, 504–509 (1996). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03214555

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Keywords

  • Target Word
  • Lexical Decision
  • Word Frequency
  • Word Length
  • Target Sentence