Investigating the causes of wrap-up effects: evidence from eye movements and E-Z Reader

Tessa Warren*, Sarah J. White, Erik D. Reichle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Wrap-up effects in reading have traditionally been thought to reflect increased processing associated with intra- and inter-clause integration (Just, M. A. & Carpenter, P. A. (1980). A theory of reading: From eye fixations to comprehension. Psychological Review, 87(4), 329-354; Rayner, K., Kambe, G., & Duffy, S. A. (2000). The effect of clause wrap-up on eye movements during reading. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 53A(4), 1061-1080; cf. Hirotani, M., Frazier, L., & Rayner, K. (2006). Punctuation and intonation effects on clause and sentence wrap-up: Evidence from eye movements. Journal of Memory and Language, 54, 425-443). We report an eye-tracking experiment with a strong manipulation of integrative complexity at a critical word that was either sentence-final, ended a comma-marked clause, or was not comma-marked. Although both complexity and punctuation had reliable effects, they did not interact in any eye-movement measure. These results as well as simulations using the E-Z Reader model of eye-movement control (Reichle, E. D., Warren, T., & McConnell, K. (2009). Using E-Z Reader to model the effects of higher-level language processing on eye movements during reading. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16(1), 1-20) suggest that traditional accounts of clause wrap-up are incomplete.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • sentence comprehension
  • eye tracking
  • language processing
  • computational modeling
  • clause wrap-up


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