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Evaluation and revision of inferential comprehension in narrative texts: an eye movement study

Perez, A., Joseph, H. S. S. L. ORCID:, Bajo, T. and Nation, K. (2016) Evaluation and revision of inferential comprehension in narrative texts: an eye movement study. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31 (4). pp. 549-566. ISSN 2327-3801

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2015.1115883


We investigated the processes of how adult readers evaluate and revise their situation model during reading by monitoring their eye movements as they read narrative texts and subsequent critical sentences. In each narrative text, a short introduction primed a knowledge-based inference, followed by a target concept that was either expected (e.g., “oven”) or unexpected (e.g., “grill”) in relation to the inferred concept. Eye movements showed that readers detected a mismatch between the new unexpected information and their prior interpretation, confirming their ability to evaluate inferential information. Just below the narrative text, a critical sentence included a target word that was either congruent (e.g., “roasted”) or incongruent (e.g., “barbecued”) with the expected but not the unexpected concept. Readers spent less time reading the congruent than the incongruent target word, reflecting the facilitation of prior information. In addition, when the unexpected (but not expected) concept had been presented, participants with lower verbal (but not visuospatial) working memory span exhibited longer reading times and made more regressions (from the critical sentence to previous information) on encountering congruent information, indicating difficulty in inhibiting their initial incorrect interpretation and revising their situation model

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
ID Code:45762
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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