Parafoveal Processing Efficiency in Rapid Automatized Naming: A Comparison between Chinese Normal and Dyslexic Children

Ming Yan, Jinger Pan, Jochen Laubrock, Reinhold Kliegl, Hua Shu

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Dyslexic children are known to be slower than normal readers in rapid automatized naming (RAN). This suggests that dyslexics encounter local processing difficulties, which presumably induce a narrower perceptual span. Consequently, dyslexics should suffer less than normal readers from removing parafoveal preview. Here we used a gaze-contingent moving-window paradigm in a RAN task to experimentally test this prediction. Results indicate that dyslexics extract less parafoveal information than control children. We propose that more attentional resources are recruited to the foveal processing because of dyslexics’ less automatized translation of visual symbols into phonological output, thereby causing a reduction of the perceptual span. This in turn leads to less efficient pre-activation of parafoveal information and hence more difficult in processing the next foveal item.


Journal of Experimental Child Psychology