Tests of the E-Z Reader model: exploring the interface between cognition and eye-movement control

Alexander Pollatsek*, Erik D. Reichle, Keith Rayner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is simultaneously a test and refinement of the E-Z Reader model and an exploration of the interrelationship between visual and language processing and eye-movements in reading. Our modeling indicates that the assumption that words in text are processed serially by skilled readers is a viable and attractive hypothesis, as it accounts not only for "normal" reading data, but also for the pattern of decrements that occur when text is withheld from view during certain periods of time, such as in the boundary paradigm and the disappearing text paradigm. Our analyses also indicate (a) that lexical processing during reading is essentially continuous and (b) that the trigger for eye movements has to be a different (and prior) event to the trigger for shifts of covert spatial attention. In addition, the parameter values in our model are in accordance with what is known about such processes and should be taken as serious hypotheses for how long these processes last. Although a parallel model may be able to duplicate the predictions of the E-Z Reader model, we think that it is likely to be far less parsimonious and not nearly as good a heuristic device for using eye movements to understand language processing in reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-56
Number of pages56
JournalCognitive Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • eye movements
  • modeling
  • reading

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