Published on by Yali Pan
Abstract: In spite of the reduced visual acuity, parafoveal information plays a critical role in natural reading. However, it is debated whether words are previewed parafoveally at the lexical level. This is a key dispute for competing models on reading. We find neural evidence for lexical parafoveal processing by combining a rapid invisible frequency tagging (RIFT) approach with magnetoencephalography (MEG) and eye-tracking. In a silent reading task, target words are tagged (flickered) subliminally at 60 Hz. The tagging responses measured when fixating on the pre-target word reflect parafoveal processing of the target word. We observe stronger tagging responses during pre-target fixations when followed by low compared with high lexical frequency targets. Moreover, this lexical parafoveal predicts individual reading speed. Our findings demonstrate that reading unfolds in the fovea and parafovea simultaneously to support fluent reading.

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the James S. McDonnell Foundation Understanding Human Cognition Collaborative Award (grant number 220020448)

Wellcome Trust Investigator Award in Science (grant number 207550)

the BBSRC grant (BB/R018723/1)

the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award



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