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Adult Age differences in Eye Movements during Reading: The Evidence from Chinese

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posted on 2016-03-14, 10:41 authored by Kevin Paterson, Victoria A. McGowan, Sarah J. White, L. Li, S. Li, M. Chang, J. Wang, F. Xie
Objectives: Substantial evidence indicates that older readers of alphabetic languages (e.g., English and German) compensate for age-related reading difficulty by employing a more risky reading strategy in which words are skipped more frequently. The effects of healthy aging on reading behavior for nonalphabetic languages, like Chinese, are largely unknown, although this would reveal the extent to which age-related changes in reading strategy are universal. Accordingly, the present research used measures of eye movements to investigate adult age differences in Chinese reading. Method: The eye movements of young (18–30 years) and older (60+ years) Chinese readers were recorded. Results: The older adults exhibited typical patterns of age-related reading difficulty. But rather than employing a more risky reading strategy compared with the younger readers, the older adults read more carefully by skipping words infrequently, making shorter forward eye movements, and fixating closer to the beginnings of two-character target words in sentences. Discussion: In contrast with the findings for alphabetic languages, older Chinese readers appear to compensate for age-related reading difficulty by employing a more careful reading strategy. Age-related changes in reading strategy therefore appear to be language specific, rather than universal, and may reflect the specific visual and linguistic requirements of the writing system.

History

Citation

Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 2016, doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw036

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/MBSP Non-Medical Departments/Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP) for Gerontological Society of America

issn

1079-5014

eissn

1758-5368

Acceptance date

2016-03-09

Copyright date

2016

Available date

2016-09-01

Publisher version

http://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/

Language

en

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