Parafoveal-on-foveal repetition effects in sentence reading: a co-registered eye-tracking and eeg study


  • Mirault Jonathan
  • Broqua Fanny
  • Dufau Stéphane
  • Holcomb Phillip
  • Grainger Jonathan

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The present study uses combined EEG and eye movement recordings to investigate parafoveal-onfoveal (PoF) repetition effects: word n +1 is either the same as word n or a different word. Participants read sentences for comprehension, and when their eyes left word n, the repeated or unrelated word at position n +1 were swapped for a word that provided a syntactically correct continuation of the sentence. We time-locked the analysis of EEG to fixation of word n (fixation-related potentials - FRPs). We found robust PoF repetition effects on gaze durations on word n. Most important is that we also observed significant effects in FRPs, starting in a time-window spanning 120-250 ms post-fixation of word n. Repetition of the target word n at position n+1 caused a reduced negativity in the FRPs, that was most prominent in frontal electrode sites. This PoF repetition effect became stronger and more widespread in the N400 time-window. Given their timecourse, we conclude that PoF repetition effects in sentence reading reflect the spatial integration of sublexical orthographic information across words n and n+1, and the subsequent impact of these integration processes on identification of word n.

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