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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2004 Nov;30(6):1290-301.

The effect of plausibility on eye movements in reading.

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Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.


Readers' eye movements were monitored as they read sentences describing events in which an individual performed an action with an implement. The noun phrase arguments of the verbs in the sentences were such that when thematic assignment occurred at the critical target word, the sentence was plausible (likely theme), implausible (unlikely theme), or anomalous (an inappropriate theme). Whereas the target word in the anomalous condition provided evidence of immediate disruption, the effect of the target word in the implausible condition was considerably delayed. The results thus indicate that when a word is anomalous, it has an immediate effect on eye movements, but that the effect of implausibility is not as immediate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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