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Abstract
A critical prediction of the E-Z Reader model is that experimental manipulations that disrupt early encoding of visual and orthographic features of the fixated word without affecting subsequent lexical processing should influence the processing difficulty of the fixated word without affecting the processing of the next word. We tested this prediction by monitoring participants’ eye movements while they read sentences in which a target word was presented either normally or altered. In the critical condition, the contrast between the target word and the background was substantially reduced. Such a reduction in stimulus quality is typically assumed to have an impact that is largely confined to a very early stage of word recognition. Results were consistent with the E-Z Reader model: This faint presentation had a robust influence on the duration of fixations on the target word without substantially altering the processing of the next word
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