Reading during the composition of multi-sentence texts: an eye-movement study

Torrance, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-5305-4315, Johansson, R., Johansson, V. and Wengelin, Å., 2016. Reading during the composition of multi-sentence texts: an eye-movement study. Psychological Research, 80 (5), pp. 729-743. ISSN 0340-0727

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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.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Psychological Research
Creators: Torrance, M., Johansson, R., Johansson, V. and Wengelin, Å.
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: Heidelberg, Germany
Date: September 2016
Volume: 80
Number: 5
ISSN: 0340-0727
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:40
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:35

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