The influence of parafoveal typographical errors on eye movements in reading

Joel Pynte, Alan Kennedy, Stephanie Ducrot

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    69 Citations (Scopus)


    Three experiments are reported, examining the effects of a typographical error in parafoveal vision on aspects of foveal inspection time and saccade targeting. All the experiments involved reading for comprehension. A contingent presentation procedure ensured that typographical errors were restored to their correct form before they were viewed in foveal vision: They were never available for foveal processing. In Experiment 1, the error was formed by replacing the first letter of the target word with a second occurrence of its second letter, producing an illegal nonword. This manipulation had no significant effect on foveal inspection time, but lowered the probability that a short word (“de” or “du”) prior to the target would be skipped. In Experiment 2 the familiarity of the target's initial letters was maintained constant across conditions. This manipulation removed the target 1 skipping effect, suggesting that the outcome of Experiment 1 was due to orthographic rather than lexical illegality, but revealed shorter foveal inspection times as a function of the presence of the error. Experiment 3 manipulated lexical and sublexical properties of the parafoveal typing error. Properties of the parafoveal error again influenced prior foveal inspection times. The pattern of results suggested that the determining properties were sublexical rather than lexical. The results as a whole are incompatible with a view of information processing in reading in which foveal processing remains immune from concurrent parafoveal influences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)178-202
    Number of pages25
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cognitive Psychology
    Issue number1/2
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of parafoveal typographical errors on eye movements in reading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this