I “hear” what you’re “saying”: Auditory perceptual simulation, reading speed, and reading comprehension

Peiyun Zhou, Kiel Christianson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Auditory perceptual simulation (APS) during silent reading refers to situations in which the reader actively simulates the voice of a character or other person depicted in a text. In three eye-tracking experiments, APS effects were investigated as people read utterances attributed to a native English speaker, a non-native English speaker, or no speaker at all. APS effects were measured via online eye movements and offline comprehension probes. Results demonstrated that inducing APS during silent reading resulted in observable differences in reading speed when readers simulated the speech of faster compared to slower speakers and compared to silent reading without APS. Social attitude survey results indicated that readers’ attitudes towards the native and non-native speech did not consistently influence APS-related effects. APS of both native speech and non-native speech increased reading speed, facilitated deeper, less good-enough sentence processing, and improved comprehension compared to normal silent reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-995
Number of pages24
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 3 2016


  • Auditory perceptual simulation
  • Embodied cognition
  • Eye movements
  • Good-enough processing
  • Language comprehension
  • Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


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