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Data from: Semantic Preview Benefit in Reading English: The Effect of Initial Letter Capitalization
Schotter, Elizabeth R
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
UC San Diego, Library, Research Data Curation Program
Keith Rayner Eye Movements in Reading Data Collection
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Publication abstract: A major controversy in reading research is whether semantic information is obtained from the word to the right of the currently fixated word (word n+1). Although most evidence has been negative in English, semantic preview benefit has been observed for readers of Chinese and German. In the present experiment, we investigated whether the discrepancy between English and German may be attributable to a difference in visual properties of the orthography: the first letter of a noun is always capitalized in German, but is only occasionally capitalized in English. This visually salient property may draw greater attention to the word during parafoveal preview and thus increase preview benefit generally (and lead to a greater opportunity for semantic preview benefit). We used English target nouns that can either be capitalized (e.g., We went to the critically acclaimed Ballet of Paris while on vacation.) or not (e.g., We went to the critically acclaimed ballet that was showing in Paris.) and manipulated the capitalization of the preview accordingly, to determine whether capitalization modulates preview benefit in English. The gaze-contingent boundary paradigm was used with identical, semantically related, and unrelated pre- views. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found numerically larger preview benefits when the preview/ target was capitalized than when it was lowercase. Crucially, semantic preview benefit was not observed when the preview/target word was not capitalized, but was observed when the preview/target word was capitalized. Subject population: Adults
Research Data Curation Program, UC San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0175 (
Rayner, Keith; Schotter, Elizabeth R (2015): Data from: Semantic preview benefit in reading English: The effect of initial letter capitalization. In Keith Rayner Eye Movements in Reading Data Collection. UC San Diego Library Digital Collections.
Rayner, K., & Schotter, E.R. (2014). Semantic preview benefit in reading English: The effect of initial letter capitalization. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40, 1617-1628.
This package contains data for a gaze-contingent display change experiment with three preview conditions (identical, semantically related, unrelated) for words which either had the first letter capitalized or not capitalized. The raw data are in the ASC sub-directory, interim files are in the DA1 sub-directory, and the final processed data are in the csv file. Files that record conversion from ASC to DA1 files and from DA1 to files that are were merged into the csv file are the sum and trc files, respectively. The ‘hook’ file (.txt) records information about the timing of and eye position around display changes. The ‘quest’ (.txt) records information about the responses to comprehension questions. The script file was used to run the experiment and the cnt file codes the locations of the regions of interest for each stimulus in each condition marked in character position. The “stims” (.txt) file lists the sentences, previews, and cloze values for previews and targets. See the Guide (Related Resource link, below) for details on some of the different types of files and column definitions that are contained in the data collection.
Eye movements
Preview benefit
Parafoveal processing

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