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Acta Psychol (Amst). 2012 Sep;141(1):17-23. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Parafoveal semantic information extraction in traditional Chinese reading.

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Department of Psychology and Research Center for Mind, Brain, and Learning, National Chengchi University, Taiwan.


Semantic information extraction from the parafovea has been reported only in simplified Chinese for a special subset of characters and its generalizability has been questioned. This study uses traditional Chinese, which differs from simplified Chinese in visual complexity and in mapping semantic forms, to demonstrate access to parafoveal semantic information during reading of this script. Preview duration modulates various types (identical, phonological, and unrelated) of parafoveal information extraction. Parafoveal semantic extraction is more elusive in English; therefore, we conclude that such effects in Chinese are presumably caused by substantial cross-language differences from alphabetic scripts. The property of Chinese characters carrying rich lexical information in a small region provides the possibility of semantic extraction in the parafovea.

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