Within-Word Inspection Strategies in Continuous Reading: Time Course of Perceptual, Lexical, and Contextual Processes

J. Pynte, A. Kennedy, W. S. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


An experiment is reported that examined the way in which long words, identifiable by information at their beginning or end, are inspected. Eye movements were recorded during a self-paced word-by-word reading task that involved the presentation of continuous text. The point first fixated within the word was varied by shifting its presentation position to the right or left. Contextual support was varied by manipulating the relationship between the sentence containing the experimental word and the prior sentence. Three principal findings are reported. (a) There is an effect of position of first fixation. First fixations to the right are less satisfactory, even when the defining information is found at that position. (b) Initial fixations are longer (and the probability of fixating the other end of the word lower) when the eye is at an "informative" region. Both lexical informativeness and orthographic familiarity have been shown to be responsible for these effects. (c) The only statistically significant effects of context were evident when the stimulus was not visible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-470
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1991


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