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Use of colour for language processing during reading

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The study examined whether literal correspondence is necessary for the use of visual features during word recognition and text comprehension. Eye movements were recorded during reading and used to change the colour of dialogue when it was fixated. In symbolically congruent colour conditions, dialogue of female and male characters was shown in orchid and blue, respectively. The reversed assignment was used in incongruent conditions, and no colouring was applied in a control condition. Analyses of oculomotor activity revealed Stroop-type congruency effects during dialogue reading, with shorter viewing durations in congruent than incongruent conditions. Colour influenced oculomotor measures that index the recognition and integration of words, indicating that it influenced multiple stages of language processing.

Keywords: Colour; Eye movements; Reading; Visual imagery; Visual symbols

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology,Binghamton University, Binghamton,NY, USA 2: Department of General and Biological Psychology,Wuppertal University, Wuppertal, Germany

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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