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Title: Adult Age differences in Eye Movements during Reading: The Evidence from Chinese
Authors: Paterson, Kevin
McGowan, Victoria A.
White, Sarah J.
Li, L.
Li, S.
Chang, M.
Wang, J.
Xie, F.
First Published: 30-Mar-2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP) for Gerontological Society of America
Citation: Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 2016, doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw036
Abstract: Objectives: Substantial evidence indicates that older readers of alphabetic languages (e.g., English and German) compensate for age-related reading difficulty by employing a more risky reading strategy in which words are skipped more frequently. The effects of healthy aging on reading behavior for nonalphabetic languages, like Chinese, are largely unknown, although this would reveal the extent to which age-related changes in reading strategy are universal. Accordingly, the present research used measures of eye movements to investigate adult age differences in Chinese reading. Method: The eye movements of young (18–30 years) and older (60+ years) Chinese readers were recorded. Results: The older adults exhibited typical patterns of age-related reading difficulty. But rather than employing a more risky reading strategy compared with the younger readers, the older adults read more carefully by skipping words infrequently, making shorter forward eye movements, and fixating closer to the beginnings of two-character target words in sentences. Discussion: In contrast with the findings for alphabetic languages, older Chinese readers appear to compensate for age-related reading difficulty by employing a more careful reading strategy. Age-related changes in reading strategy therefore appear to be language specific, rather than universal, and may reflect the specific visual and linguistic requirements of the writing system.
DOI Link: 10.1093/geronb/gbw036
ISSN: 1079-5014
eISSN: 1758-5368
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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