Reading, Eye-tracking, and Individual Differences Lab
What do we study?
Broadly, I am interested in studying the cognitive processes that underlie word identification in reading. Reading is an extremely complicated process in which we are able to decode abstract symbols into meaning in about a quarter of a second. My research program focuses on several main questions about reading:
What factors contributes to skilled and less skilled reading? How is the word identification process different for high-skill and low-skill readers?
How and why do we skip words while reading? Do we process skipped words differently than fixated words?
How do we learn new words from context while reading? Are certain contexts more helpful than others?
The REAiD Lab is currently working on a couple different research projects. Currently, five undergraduate research assistants are working with these projects, and developing their own ideas into new projects.
During reading, we often come across words that we do not know. The surrounding context of that unknown word can provide meaningful clues as to the meaning of the word. After repeated exposures to that word in multiple contexts we are able to learn the spelling, pronunciation, and meaning of that word. I am currently studying what types of contexts are most helpful in learning new words.
Skilled readers skip over about 30% of the words that we read. Skipped words are processed and identified, but it is not clear whether skipped words are processed to the same degree as fixated words (Eskenazi & Folk, 2015). I am currently working on two projects to understand how skipped words are processed.
How do we study reading?
The cognitive processes that underlie reading are complicated, difficult to study, and require an object method of measurement. Luckily, eye movement behavior is tightly linked to cognitive processing. Therefore, the most reliable and accurate method of studying reading is to study eye movement behavior during reading. The direction and duration of eye movements can tell us a lot about how someone is processing lexical information. The main method that I use in my research is eye-tracking.
EyeLink 1000 Plus
My lab is equipped with an EyeLink 1000 Plus eye-tracker from SR Research. This machine measures eye movement positions 1000 times per second. Undergraduate research assistants are trained on how to eye-track, design eye-tracking experiments in Experiment Builder, and analyze data using Data Viewer and R.
Members and Collaborators
Current Research Assistants
See Research Assistants Tab
Jocelyn R. Folk, Associate Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Ashley Abraham, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychological Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Jenny M. Roche, Assistant Professor, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Angela C. Jones, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Science, John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH