The effect of word position on eye-movements in sentence and paragraph reading

  • The present study explores the role of the word position-in-text in sentence and paragraph reading. Three eye-movement data sets based on the reading of Dutch and German unrelated sentences reveal a sizeable, replicable increase in reading times over several words in the beginning and the end of sentences. The data from the paragraphbased English-language Dundee corpus replicate the pattern and also indicate that the increase in inspection times is driven by the visual boundaries of the text organized in lines, rather than by syntactic sentence boundaries. We argue that this effect is independent of several established lexical, contextual and oculomotor predictors of eye-movement behavior. We also provide evidence that the effect of word position-intext has two independent components: a start-up effect arguably caused by a strategic oculomotor program of saccade planning over the line of text, and a wrap-up effect originating in cognitive processes of comprehension and semantic integration.

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar Statistics
Author:Victor Kuperman, Michael Dambacher, Antje Nuthmann, Reinhold KlieglORCiDGND
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe (paper 235)
Document Type:Postprint
Year of Completion:2010
Release Date:2011/12/01
Tag:eye movements; sentence processing; word processing
Source:The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. - ISSN 1747-0218. 63 (2010), 9, S. 1838 — 1857
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:First published on:
06 April 2010 (iFirst)
This is an electronic version of an article published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. - ISSN 1747-0218. 63 (2010), 9, S. 1838 — 1857. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology is available online at: with the open URL of your article
To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/17470211003602412