Effects of vertically aligned flankers during sentence reading


  • Mirault Jonathan
  • Grainger Jonathan


  • Sentence reading Vertical flankers Grammatical decisions
  • Sentence reading
  • Vertical flankers
  • Grammatical decisions

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We examine whether information lying above and below a line of text being read can impact on reading fluency. We did so by placing length-matched flankers above and below each word in a sequence of words. We found that identical flankers facilitated sentence reading, compared with syntactically correct different text flankers, in both reading-for-meaning (Experiment 1) and grammatical decisions (Experiment 2). Experiment 3 replicated the same text facilitation in grammatical decisions and found no significant difference between different word and nonword distractors. Experiment 4 tested for an impact of case matching across targets and flankers and found a significantly greater same text facilitation when targets and flankers were in the same case. These results suggest that the same text facilitation effect might well be driven by crowding mechanisms that are more sensitive to vertically aligned information when reading horizontally aligned text.

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