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Vision Res. 2009 Mar;49(5):544-52. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2008.12.016. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

On-line contextual influences during reading normal text: The role of nouns, verbs and adjectives.

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Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurosciences Cognitives, Université Paris-Descartes, CNRS, 71 Avenue Edouard Vaillant, 92774 Boulogne-Billancourt, France.


In a series of multiple-regression analyses conducted on the French part of the Dundee corpus, the time spent inspecting a target word in a given sentence was found to depend on its degree of semantic relatedness (as assessed in the LSA framework) to two content words belonging to a prior part of the sentence, and located at varying distances to the left of the target. However, only verb primes were found to elicit a significant influence when located in the more remote position. In addition, the influence elicited by remote primes was modulated as a function of their position in the constituent structure, relative to the position of the target. This pattern of results suggests that relatively abstract semantic relations, probably involved in processing operations developed at the sentence level, can directly influence eye-movement control mechanisms.

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