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The role of anticipation in reading

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The paper introduces measurement of fixation-speech intervals (FSI) as an important tool for the study of the reading process. Using the theory of the organism-environment system (Järvilehto 1998a), we developed experiments to investigate the time course of reading. By combining eye tracking with synchronous recording of speech during reading in a single measure, we issue a fundamental challenge to information processing models. Not only is FSI an authentic measure of the reading process, but it shows that we exploit verbal patterns, textual features and, less directly, reading experience. Reading, we conclude, is not a matter of decoding linguistic information. Far from being a text-driven process, it depends on integrating both sensory and motor processes in an anticipatory meaning generation based on the history of experience and cultural context of the reader. Finally, we conclude with remarks on the social character and cognitive history of reading.
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Keywords: anticipation; eye tracking; fixation-speech interval; neural basis; organism-environment system; reading

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 2, 2009

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