Redundancy and word perception during reading

David Zola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The experimental investigation reported in this article deals with the process of extracting visual information during reading. Subjects read texts that manipulated the predictability of a target word through the choice of an immediately preceding word. Spelling errors were also introduced into some of the target words. A detailed examination was made of the subjects' eye-movement patterns. Several aspects of eye behavior were analyzed to determine if contextual constraint and misspelling influenced perception during reading. Subjects exhibited no differences in the frequency of fixating the target words in the high-constraint and low-constraint conditions. However, the fixation of the target words was shorter in the high-constraint condition. In addition, fixation durations and regression probabilities associated with misspelled words were also significantly inflated. The eye-movement patterns showed that minimal spelling errors often disrupted reading, even when the misspelled words were highly predictable. These results suggest that language constraint does expedite processing during reading; furthermore, they suggest that such facilitation does not necessarily occur through a reduction in the visual analysis of the text.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Psychology


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