How is attention allocated during reading? The present eye-movement experiment used a paradigm developed by Liu and Reichle (Psychological Science, 29, 278–287, 2018) to examine object-based attention during reading: Participants were instructed to read one of two spatially overlapping sentences containing colocated target/distractor words of varying frequency. Although target-word frequency modulated fixation-duration measures on the target word, the distractor-word frequency also had a smaller, independent effect. Survival analyses indicate that the distractor-word effect occurred later than the target-word effect, suggesting that subtle orthographic cues were noticed either later or occasionally, thereby modulating decisions about when to move the eyes. The theoretical ramifications of this “leakage” of information are discussed with respect to the general question of attention allocation during reading and possible differences between the reading of Chinese versus English.
- eye movements
- survival analysis