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Eye movements when reading words with $YMβOL$ and NUM83R5: There is a cost

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Recent evidence from masked priming experiments has revealed that readers regularize letter-like symbols and letter-like numbers into their corresponding base letters with minimal processing cost. However, one open question is whether the same pattern occurs when these items are presented during normal silent reading. In the present study, we respond to this question in an eye-movement experiment that included sentences with words that had symbols and numbers as letters, as in “YESTERDAY I SAW THE SECRE74RY WORKING VERY HARD”. Results revealed that there is a greater reading cost associated with letter-by-number replacements than with letter-by-symbol replacements, especially when the replaced letters occur at the beginning of the word. We examine the implications of these findings for models of visual word recognition and reading.

Keywords: Letter processing; Letter-like characters; Number processing; Visual word recognition

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Tecnologias Biomedicas, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain 2: Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain 3: Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language, Donostia-San Sebastian, Basque Country,Instituto de Tecnologias Biomedicas, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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