Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/31990
Title: The processing of spatial information during reading : Processing of previously read text and effects of adult age
Authors: McGowan, Victoria Anne
Supervisors: White, Sarah
Paterson, Kevin
Award date: 1-Mar-2015
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis reports seven experiments which examine how spatial information is used during reading. In particular, the experiments address two issues which are fundamental to understanding how space information is used during reading. Furthermore, these issues are essential in examining how current models of eye movement control during reading could incorporate the use of space information, which is currently not well specified. Firstly, what is the precise nature of the processing of space information for previously read text? This was examined in Experiments 1-4, which built upon previous findings that readers do continue to process space information for previously read text by revealing that this is largely limited to text immediately to the left of fixation, and is mediated by attention. Importantly, these findings reveal the significant role that attention plays in the processing of space information during reading, which has important implications for how space information should be specified in models of eye movement control during reading. Secondly, precisely how does the use of space information change across the adult life span? This was examined in Experiments 5-7, which revealed that older adults (aged 65+) are more reliant on the availability of spaces between words than young adults (aged 18-30). Furthermore, the results indicated that this is largely limited to foveal processing, and that older adults are able to adapt as well as young adults to subtle variations in the size of these spaces. Importantly, these findings indicate that how space information is used during reading changes across the adult lifespan, which has important implications for how the models of eye movement control during reading should fully incorporate the use of space information. Overall, this thesis provides a more fully comprehensive understanding of how spatial information is used during reading and highlights key areas where theoretical development is needed.
Links: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/31990
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Psychology
Leicester Theses

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