The role of verbal memory in regressions during reading
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During reading, participants generally move their eyes rightward on the line. A number of eye movements, called regressions, are made leftward, to words that have already been fixated. In the present study, we investigated the role of verbal memory during regressions. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to read sentences for comprehension. After reading, they were asked to make a regression to a target word presented auditorily. The results revealed that their regressions were guided by memory, as they differed from those of a control group who did not read the sentences. The role of verbal memory during regressions was then investigated by combining the reading task with articulatory suppression (Exps. 2 and 3). The results showed that articulatory suppression affected the size and the accuracy of the initial regression but had a minimal effect on corrective saccades. This suggests that verbal memory plays an important role in determining the location of the initial saccade during regressions.
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