The E-Z Reader model (Reichle et al. 1998; 1999) provides a theoretical framework for understanding how word identification, visual processing, attention, and oculomotor control jointly determine when and where the eyes move during reading. In this article, we first review what is known about eye movements during reading. Then we provide an updated version of the model (E-Z Reader 7) and describe how it accounts for basic findings about eye movement control in reading. We then review several alternative models of (...) eye movement control in reading, discussing both their core assumptions and their theoretical scope. On the basis of this discussion, we conclude that E-Z Reader provides the most comprehensive account of eye movement control during reading. Finally, we provide a brief overview of what is known about the neural systems that support the various components of reading, and suggest how the cognitive constructs of our model might map onto this neural architecture. Key Words: attention; eye-movement control; E-Z Reader; fixations; lexical access; models; reading; regressions; saccades. (shrink)
Several prominent models of reading posit that attention is distributed to support the parallel lexical processing of multiple words. We contend that the auxiliary assumptions underlying this attention-gradient hypothesis are not well founded. Here, we address three specific issues related to the ongoing debate about attention allocation during reading: (i) why the attention-gradient hypothesis is widely endorsed, (ii) why processing several words in parallel in reading is implausible and (iii) why attention must be allocated to only one word at a (...) time. Full consideration of these arguments supports the hypothesis that attention is allocated serially during reading. (shrink)
It has long been assumed in linguistics that bound variable interpretations of pronouns are possible (only) when a quantified expression c‐commands the pronoun. In two studies in which readers' eye movements were recorded, we examined the processing of pronouns bound by universal quantifiers. Experiment 1 compared examples where the quantifier c‐commands the pronoun (‘Every British soldier thought he killed an enemy soldier’) with examples where it doesn't (‘Every British soldier aimed and then he killed an enemy soldier’). Although there were (...) no first pass differences, re‐reading time showed that both quantifier examples took longer to read than nonquantified controls (‘The old British soldier…’), but there was no special penalty in examples when the quantifier failed to c‐command the pronoun. Experiment 2 investigated intersentential binding (telescoping): ‘John Frederick/Each executive/Every executive went home. He broiled a steak. He ate dinner. Then he watched television.’ Second pass and total reading times in the region containing the first pronoun were longer for quantified examples than name examples. But there was no indication that telescoping is tightly restricted, for example, to contexts with ‘each’ or to discourses describing stereotypical events composed of predictable subevents. The results suggest that bound variable interpretations are more generally and more readily available than is often assumed. They fit well with Bosch's (1983) attempt to limit pronoun occurrences to just two types: anaphoric referential pronouns and syntactic agreement pronouns. On this view, ‘bound variable’ interpretations without c‐command are really anaphoric pronouns with inferred antecedents. This view is discussed along with the challenges it faces. (shrink)
The issues the commentators have raised and which we address, include: the debate over how attention is allocated during reading; our distinction between early and late stages of lexical processing; our assumptions about saccadic programming; the determinants of skipping and refixations; and the role that higher-level linguistic processing may play in influencing eye movements during reading. In addition, we provide a discussion of model development and principles for evaluating and comparing models. Although we acknowledge that E-Z Reader is incomplete, we (...) maintain that it provides a good framework for systematically trying to understand how the cognitive, perceptual, and motor systems influence the eyes during reading. (shrink)
We are largely in agreement with the Findlay & Walker model. However, they appear to dismiss the role of covert spatial attention in tasks in which people are free to move their eyes. We argue that an account of the facts about the perceptual span in reading requires a window of attention not centered around the fovea. Moreover, a computational model of reading that we (Reichle et al. 1998) developed gives a good account of eye movement control in reading and (...) would be unable to do so without relying heavily on covert attention. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Pickering & Garrod's (P&G's) model is an innovative and important step in the study of naturalistic language. However, the simplicity of its mechanisms for dialogue coordination may be overstated and the hypothesized direct priming channel between interlocutors' situation models is questionable. A complete specification of the model will require more investigation of the role of top-down inhibition among representations.