Title

Fast and slow readers and the effectiveness of the spatial frequency content of text: Evidence from reading times and eye movements

Source of Publication

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

Abstract

© 2016 American Psychological Association. Text contains a range of different spatial frequencies but the effectiveness of spatial frequencies for normal variations in skilled adult reading ability is unknown. Accordingly, young skilled adult readers showing fast or slow reading ability read sentences displayed as normal or filtered to contain only very low, low, medium, high, or very high spatial frequencies. Reading times and eye movement measures of fixations and saccades assessed the effectiveness of these displays for reading. Reading times showed that, for each reading ability, medium, high, and very high spatial frequencies were all more effective than lower spatial frequencies. Indeed, for each reading ability, reading times for normal text were maintained when text contained only medium, high, or very high spatial frequencies. However, reading times for normal text and for each spatial frequency were all substantially shorter for fast readers than for slow readers, and this advantage for fast readers was similar for normal, medium, high, and very high spatial frequencies but much larger for low and very low spatial frequencies. In addition, fast readers made fewer and shorter fixations, fewer and shorter regressions, and longer forward saccades, than slow readers, and these differences were generally similar in size for normal, medium, high, and very high spatial frequencies, but larger when spatial frequencies were lower. These findings suggest that fast and slow adult readers can each use a range of different spatial frequencies for reading but fast readers make more effective use of these spatial frequencies and especially those that are lower.

Document Type

Article

First Page

1066

Last Page

1071

Publication Date

8-1-2016

DOI

10.1037/xhp0000234

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