Reading is arguably the most important and difficult skill that productive members of literate societies have to master. To read efficiently, skilled readers must learn to coordinate the perceptual and cognitive processes that are involved in vision, attention, and language processing with the moment-to-moment 'decisions"""""""" about when and where to move the eyes (Reichle, Rayner, &Pollatsek, 2003). The research that is described in this proposal is directed towards understanding how this coordination is achieved. The first part of this proposal describes a series of simulations that will be completed using artificial reading agents. These agents learn how to move their """"""""eyes"""""""" so as to read as efficiently as possible, and have been used to examine the development of eye-movement behavior during reading (Reichle &Laurent, 2006). The proposed simulations will allow us to understand how lexical and syntactic processing guide eye movements during reading, and will allow us to test several hypotheses about the role cognition plays in reading (e.g., how attention is allocated). The second part of this proposal describes a pair of experiments that will also examine the roles that perceptual, lexical, and syntactic processing play in guiding the eye-movement behavior of skilled readers. The first experiment will use a training paradigm to examine how letter-string length, frequency, and predictability affect the eye-movement behavior that develops in a reading-like visual- scanning task. The second of these two experiments will use brain imaging (fMRI) to identify the brain areas that become coordinated with improved task performance, and to examine the learning mechanisms (e.g., reinforcement learning mediated by the basal ganglia) involved in this coordination. In order to succeed in our society, it is vital to be able to read. The research in this proposal investigates the development and end state of the coordination between vision, attention, language processing, and eye- movement control necessary for skilled reading. Understanding this coordination will allow us to better understand causes of reading difficulty.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM)
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Miller, Brett
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University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Reichle, Erik D; Drieghe, Denis (2015) Using E-Z Reader to examine the consequences of fixation-location measurement error. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 41:262-70
Eddington, Chelsea M; Tokowicz, Natasha (2015) How meaning similarity influences ambiguous word processing: the current state of the literature. Psychon Bull Rev 22:13-37
Godwin, Hayward J; Reichle, Erik D; Menneer, Tamaryn (2014) Coarse-to-fine eye movement behavior during visual search. Psychon Bull Rev 21:1244-9
Williams, Carrick C; Pollatsek, Alexander; Reichle, Erik D (2014) Examining Eye Movements in Visual Search through Clusters of Objects in a Circular Array. J Cogn Psychol (Hove) 26:1-14
Reichle, Erik D; Liversedge, Simon P; Drieghe, Denis et al. (2013) Using E-Z Reader to examine the concurrent development of eye-movement control and reading skill. Dev Rev 33:110-149
Reichle, Erik D; Drieghe, Denis (2013) Using E-Z reader to examine word skipping during reading. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 39:1311-20
Reichle, Erik D; Rayner, Keith; Pollatsek, Alexander (2012) Eye movements in reading versus nonreading tasks: Using E-Z Reader to understand the role of word/stimulus familiarity. Vis cogn 20:360-390
Reichle, Erik D; Pollatsek, Alexander; Rayner, Keith (2012) Using E-Z Reader to simulate eye movements in nonreading tasks: a unified framework for understanding the eye-mind link. Psychol Rev 119:155-85
Vanyukov, Polina M; Warren, Tessa; Wheeler, Mark E et al. (2012) The emergence of frequency effects in eye movements. Cognition 123:185-9
Reingold, Eyal M; Reichle, Erik D; Glaholt, Mackenzie G et al. (2012) Direct lexical control of eye movements in reading: evidence from a survival analysis of fixation durations. Cogn Psychol 65:177-206

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