Effects of parafoveal plausibility during reading

Laura Wakeford, Wayne Murray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


There is controversy concerning the question of whether meaning can be extracted from a parafoveal word during reading and whether this might occur in an overlapping fashion with the lexical processing of the currently-fixated word. We suggest that previous attempts to investigate this have been bedevilled by problems associated with the use of priming methodology. Instead, we used an eye movement contingent change technique and manipulated the plausibility of the parafoveal preview, resulting in it being either valid, a plausible alternative, anomalous, or an illegal letter string. The results showed (a) a meaning-based parafoveal-on-foveal effect, (b) preview benefits driven by both orthographic and semantic influences, and (c) continuing disruption associated with orthographically dissimilar previews. We suggest that this pattern is most consistent with models of eye movement control that allow for distributed attention during reading.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication35th annual meeting of the Cognitivie Science Society (CogSci 2013)
Subtitle of host publicationcooperative minds: social ineraction and group dynamics
EditorsMarkus Knauff, Natalie Sebanz, Michael Pauen, Ipke Wachsmuth
Place of PublicationAustin, TX
PublisherCognitive Science Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781629930817
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society: Cooperative minds: social interaction and group dynamics - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 31 Jul 20133 Aug 2013
Conference number: 35th


Conference35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Abbreviated titleCogSci 2013
Internet address


  • Eye movements
  • Preview benefit
  • Plauibility
  • Parafoveal-on-foveal effects
  • Boundary technique
  • Reading


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