Document Type


Source of Publication

Frontiers in Psychology

Publication Date



� 2016 Jordan, Dixon, McGowan, Kurtev and Paterson. Recent research has shown that differences in the effectiveness of spatial frequencies for fast and slow skilled adult readers may be an important component of differences in reading ability in the skilled adult reading population (Jordan et al., 2016a). But the precise nature of this influence on lexical processing during reading remains to be fully determined. Accordingly, to gain more insight into the use of spatial frequencies by skilled adult readers with fast and slow reading abilities, the present study looked at effects of spatial frequencies on the processing of specific target words in sentences. These target words were of either high or low lexical frequency and each sentence was displayed as normal or filtered to contain only very low, low, medium, high, or very high spatial frequencies. Eye movement behavior for target words was closest to normal for each reading ability when text was shown in medium or higher spatial frequency displays, although reading occurred for all spatial frequencies. Moreover, typical word frequency effects (the processing advantage for words with higher lexical frequencies) were observed for each reading ability across a broad range of spatial frequencies, indicating that many different spatial frequencies provide access to lexical representations during textual reading for both fast and slow skilled adult readers. Crucially, however, target word fixations were fewer and shorter for fast readers than for slow readers for all display types, and this advantage for fast readers appeared to be similar for normal, medium, high, and very high spatial frequencies but larger for low and very low spatial frequencies. Therefore, although fast and slow skilled adult readers can both use a broad range of spatial frequencies when reading, fast readers make more effective use of these spatial frequencies, and especially those that are lower, when processing the identities of words.




Frontiers Media S.A.





First Page



Social and Behavioral Sciences


Eye movements during reading, Reading, Reading ability, Reading comprehension, Reading speed, Spatial frequencies, Word recognition

Scopus ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series