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The utility of modelling word identification from visual input within models of eye movements in reading

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Decades of empirical work have shown that a range of eye movement phenomena in reading are sensitive to the details of the process of word identification. Despite this, major models of eye movement control in reading do not explicitly model word identification from visual input. This paper presents an argument for developing models of eye movements that do include detailed models of word identification. Specifically, we argue that insights into eye movement behaviour can be gained by understanding which phenomena naturally arise from an account in which the eyes move for efficient word identification, and that one important use of such models is to test which eye movement phenomena can be understood this way. As an extended case study, we present evidence from an extension of a previous model of eye movement control in reading that does explicitly model word identification from visual input, Mr. Chips (Legge, Klitz, & Tjan, 1997), to test two proposals for the effect of using linguistic context on reading efficiency.

Keywords: Computational modeling; Eye movements in reading; Visual word identification

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology,University of California, San Diego,CA, USA 2: Department of Linguistics,University of California, San Diego,CA, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2012


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