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J Exp Child Psychol. 2013 Jul;115(3):579-89. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2013.01.007. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

Parafoveal processing efficiency in rapid automatized naming: a comparison between Chinese normal and dyslexic children.

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Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany. Electronic address:


Dyslexic children are known to be slower than normal readers in rapid automatized naming (RAN). This suggests that dyslexics encounter local processing difficulties, which presumably induce a narrower perceptual span. Consequently, dyslexics should suffer less than normal readers from removing parafoveal preview. Here we used a gaze-contingent moving window paradigm in a RAN task to experimentally test this prediction. Results indicate that dyslexics extract less parafoveal information than control children. We propose that more attentional resources are recruited to the foveal processing because of dyslexics' less automatized translation of visual symbols into phonological output, thereby causing a reduction of the perceptual span. This in turn leads to less efficient preactivation of parafoveal information and, hence, more difficulty in processing the next foveal item.

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