Adult age differences in the perceptual span during reading

  • Following up on research suggesting an age-related reduction in the rightward extent of the perceptual span during reading (Rayner, Castelhano, & Yang, 2009), we compared old and young adults in an N+2-boundary paradigm in which a nonword preview of word N+2 or word N+2 itself is replaced by the target word once the eyes cross an invisible boundary located after word N. The intermediate word N+1 was always three letters long. Gaze durations on word N+2 were significantly shorter for identical than nonword N+2 preview both for young and for old adults with no significant difference in this preview benefit. Young adults, however, did modulate their gaze duration on word N more strongly than old adults in response to the difficulty of the parafoveal word N+1. Taken together, the results suggest a dissociation of preview benefit and parafoveal-on-foveal effect. Results are discussed in terms of age-related decline in resilience towards distributed processing while simultaneously preserving the ability to integrate parafoveal information iFollowing up on research suggesting an age-related reduction in the rightward extent of the perceptual span during reading (Rayner, Castelhano, & Yang, 2009), we compared old and young adults in an N+2-boundary paradigm in which a nonword preview of word N+2 or word N+2 itself is replaced by the target word once the eyes cross an invisible boundary located after word N. The intermediate word N+1 was always three letters long. Gaze durations on word N+2 were significantly shorter for identical than nonword N+2 preview both for young and for old adults with no significant difference in this preview benefit. Young adults, however, did modulate their gaze duration on word N more strongly than old adults in response to the difficulty of the parafoveal word N+1. Taken together, the results suggest a dissociation of preview benefit and parafoveal-on-foveal effect. Results are discussed in terms of age-related decline in resilience towards distributed processing while simultaneously preserving the ability to integrate parafoveal information into foveal processing. As such, the present results relate to proposals of regulatory compensation strategies older adults use to secure an overall reading speed very similar to that of young adults.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Sarah Risse, Reinhold Kliegl
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-56935
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe, ISSN 1866-8364 (paper 241)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2011/12/07
Year of Completion:2011
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2011/12/07
Tag:N+2-boundary paradigm; age differences; compensation strategies; parafoveal-on-foveal effect; perceptual span; preview benefit
Source:Psychology and Aging. - ISSN 0882-7974. - 26 (2011), 2 , S. 451-460
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:first published in:
Psychology and Aging (2011)
copyright. The American Psychological Association
This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
DOI:10.1037/a0021616