Published: October 18th, 2018
The method was designed to investigate the role of inhibition of return (IOR) in regressive eye movements during reading. The focus is on differentiating between regressions triggered as a result of comprehension difficulty versus those triggered from oculomotor error, including the role of IOR in the two types of regressions.
Regressive eye movements are eye movements that move backwards through the text and comprise approximately 10-25% of eye movements during reading. As such, understanding the causes and mechanisms of regressions plays an important role in understanding eye movement behavior. Inhibition of return (IOR) is an oculomotor effect that results in increased latency to return attention to a previously attended target versus a target that was not previously attended. Thus, IOR may affect regressions. This paper describes how to design materials to distinguish between regressions caused by comprehension-related and oculomotor processes; the latter is subject to IOR. The method allows researchers to identify IOR and control the causes of regressions. While the method requires tightly controlled materials and large numbers of participants and materials, it allows researchers to distinguish and control the types of regressions that occur in their reading studies.
The method described in this paper was designed to investigate the role of inhibition of return (IOR) in regressive eye movements during reading, focusing on regressions triggered as a result of comprehension difficulty versus those triggered as a result of oculomotor error. Specifically, we investigated whether regressions launched as a result of comprehension difficulty and those launched as a result of oculomotor error are subject to IOR effects.
Regressive eye movements, or regressions, are eye movements that move backwards through the text. Depending on reader and text characteristics, 10-25% of eye movements move backwards
The Institutional Review Boards of Kent State University and Stetson University have approved all methods described here.
1. Eligible Participants
NOTE: The purpose of this research is to understand reading processes in skilled adult readers. Thus, certain eligibility requirements must be met. Such controls ensure that results are directly applicable to a population of skilled adult readers with typical cognitive processes.
The results of our previous work using this paradigm14 resulted in a 17% regression rate in the oculomotor error condition and a 29% regression rate in the comprehension difficulty condition14. In the oculomotor error condition, 32% of the regressions were to previously fixated words and 68% of regressions were to previously skipped words. The reverse pattern occurred in the comprehension difficulty condition. Of the 29% of regressions, 61% were to previously fixated words .......
The current research provides a method for distinguishing between two different types of regressive eye movements during reading - those that are based on comprehension difficulty and those that are based on oculomotor error. The data provide evidence that a low-level attentional process, IOR, may depend on the type of regression. It was found that IOR only occurs for oculomotor-based regressions, but not for comprehension based regressions14. Thus, it is important.......
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