Using E-Z Reader to examine word skipping during reading

Erik D. Reichle*, Denis Drieghe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The question of why readers sometimes skip words has important theoretical implications for our understanding of perception, cognition, and oculomotor control during reading (Drieghe, Rayner, & Pollatsek, 2005). In this article, the E-Z Reader model of eye-movement control in reading (Reichle, 2011) was used to examine the behavioral consequences of word skipping on fixation durations. The simulations suggest that skipping "cost," or inflated fixation durations immediately prior to skips, is modulated by the lexical properties of the upcoming word (i.e., longer fixations before skipping infrequent and/or long words; Kliegl & Engbert, 2005) but that contrary to previous claims (e.g., Reichle & Laurent, 2006), "accidental" skips due to motor error also produce skipping cost. In contrast, the cost associated with having skipped a word was not modulated by that word's properties. These simulations suggest that skipping behavior is even more complicated than previously has been assumed and that further empirical research is needed to understand the causal link between skipping and its associated cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1311-1320
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • eye movements
  • E-Z Reader
  • reading
  • word-skipping cost


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