Do readers integrate phonological codes across saccades? A Bayesian meta-analysis and a survey of the unpublished literature

Authors: Vasilev, M., Yates, M. and Slattery, T.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/32963/

Journal: Journal of Cognition

DOI: 10.5334/joc.87

It is commonly accepted that phonological codes can be activated parafoveally during reading and later used to aid foveal word recognition- a finding known as the phonological preview benefit. However, a closer look at the literature shows that this effect may be less consistent than what is sometimes believed. To determine the extent to which phonology is processed parafoveally, a Bayesian meta-analysis of 27 experiments and a survey of the unpublished literature were conducted. While the results were generally consistent with the phonological preview benefit (>90% probability of a true effect in gaze durations), the size of the effect was small. Readers of alphabetical orthographies obtained a modest benefit of only 4 ms in gaze durations. Interestingly, Chinese readers showed a larger effect (6–14 ms in size). There was no difference in the magnitude of the phonological preview benefit between homophone and pseudo-homophone previews, thus suggesting that the modest processing advantage is indeed related to the activation of phonological codes from the parafoveal word. Simulations revealed that the results are relatively robust to missing studies, although the effects may be 19–22% smaller if all missing studies found a null effect. The results suggest that while phonology can be processed parafoveally, this happens only to a limited extent. Because phonological priming effects in single-word recognition are small (10–13 ms; Rastle & Brysbaert, 2006) and there is a loss of visual acuity in the parafovea, it is argued that large phonological preview benefit effects may be unlikely.

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Authors: Vasilev, M.R., Yates, M. and Slattery, T.J.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/32963/

Journal: J Cogn

Volume: 2

Issue: 1

Pages: 43

eISSN: 2514-4820

DOI: 10.5334/joc.87

It is commonly accepted that phonological codes can be activated parafoveally during reading and later used to aid foveal word recognition- a finding known as the phonological preview benefit. However, a closer look at the literature shows that this effect may be less consistent than what is sometimes believed. To determine the extent to which phonology is processed parafoveally, a Bayesian meta-analysis of 27 experiments and a survey of the unpublished literature were conducted. While the results were generally consistent with the phonological preview benefit (>90% probability of a true effect in gaze durations), the size of the effect was small. Readers of alphabetical orthographies obtained a modest benefit of only 4 ms in gaze durations. Interestingly, Chinese readers showed a larger effect (6-14 ms in size). There was no difference in the magnitude of the phonological preview benefit between homophone and pseudo-homophone previews, thus suggesting that the modest processing advantage is indeed related to the activation of phonological codes from the parafoveal word. Simulations revealed that the results are relatively robust to missing studies, although the effects may be 19-22% smaller if all missing studies found a null effect. The results suggest that while phonology can be processed parafoveally, this happens only to a limited extent. Because phonological priming effects in single-word recognition are small (10-13 ms; Rastle & Brysbaert, 2006) and there is a loss of visual acuity in the parafovea, it is argued that large phonological preview benefit effects may be unlikely.

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