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On forward inferences of fast and slow readers : an eye movement study
AuthorHawelka, Stefan ; Schuster, Sarah ; Gagl, Benjamin ; Hutzler, Florian
Published in
Scientific Reports, London, 2015, Vol. 5, page 1-8
PublishedNature Publishing Group, 2015
Document typeJournal Article
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-1538 Persistent Identifier (URN)
 The work is publicly available
On forward inferences of fast and slow readers [2.21 mb]
Abstract (English)

Unimpaired readers process words incredibly fast and hence it was assumed that top-down processing, such as predicting upcoming words, would be too slow to play an appreciable role in reading. This runs counter the major postulate of the predictive coding framework that our brain continually predicts probable upcoming sensory events. This means, it may generate predictions about the probable upcoming word during reading (dubbed forward inferences). Trying to asses these contradictory assumptions, we evaluated the effect of the predictability of words in sentences on eye movement control during silent reading. Participants were a group of fluent (i.e., fast) and a group of speed-impaired (i.e., slow) readers. The findings indicate that fast readers generate forward inferences, whereas speed-impaired readers do so to a reduced extent - indicating a significant role of predictive coding for fluent reading.