Eye-movement Evidence for object-based attention in Chinese reading

Yanping Liu*, Erik D. Reichle

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Is attention allocated to only one word or to multiple words at any given time during reading? The experiments reported here addressed this question using a novel paradigm inspired by classic findings on object-based attention. In Experiment 1, participants (N = 18) made lexical decisions about one of two spatially colocated Chinese words or nonwords. Our main finding was that only the attended word’s frequency influenced response times and accuracy. In Experiment 2, participants (N = 30) read target words embedded in two spatially colocated Chinese sentences. Our key finding here was that only target-word frequencies influenced looking times and fixation positions. These results support the hypothesis that words are attended in a strictly serial (and perhaps object-based) manner during reading. The theoretical implications of this conclusion are discussed in relation to models of eye-movement control during reading and the conceptualization of words as visual objects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)278-287
    Number of pages10
    JournalPsychological Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


    • attention
    • Chinese reading
    • eye movements
    • lexical decision
    • open data
    • open materials


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