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Working memory, reading ability and the effects of distance and typicality on anaphor resolution in children.

Joseph HS, Bremner G, Liversedge SP, Nation K - J Cogn Psychol (Hove) (2015)

Bottom Line: Children showed effects of distance and typicality on the anaphor itself and also on the word to the right of the anaphor, suggesting that anaphoric processing begins immediately but continues after the eyes have left the anaphor.Furthermore, children showed no evidence of resolving anaphors in the most difficult condition (distant atypical antecedent), suggesting that anaphoric processing that is demanding may not occur online in children of this age.Finally, working memory capacity and reading comprehension skill affect the magnitude and time course of typicality and distance effects during anaphoric processing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health, Oxford Brookes University , Gipsy Lane Campus, Headington , Oxford OX3 0BP , UK ; Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford , South Parks Road, Oxford , OX1 3UD , UK.

ABSTRACT

We investigated the time course of anaphor resolution in children and whether this is modulated by individual differences in working memory and reading skill. The eye movements of 30 children (10-11 years) were monitored as they read short paragraphs in which (1) the semantic typicality of an antecedent and (2) its distance in relation to an anaphor were orthogonally manipulated. Children showed effects of distance and typicality on the anaphor itself and also on the word to the right of the anaphor, suggesting that anaphoric processing begins immediately but continues after the eyes have left the anaphor. Furthermore, children showed no evidence of resolving anaphors in the most difficult condition (distant atypical antecedent), suggesting that anaphoric processing that is demanding may not occur online in children of this age. Finally, working memory capacity and reading comprehension skill affect the magnitude and time course of typicality and distance effects during anaphoric processing.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Proportion of regressions made into the typical and atypical antecedent region for children with reading comprehension scores 1 SD above the mean, 1 SD below the mean and mean scores (top panel); and for children with working memory scores 1 SD above the mean, 1 SD below the mean and mean scores (bottom panel). Error bars show SE.
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f0002: Proportion of regressions made into the typical and atypical antecedent region for children with reading comprehension scores 1 SD above the mean, 1 SD below the mean and mean scores (top panel); and for children with working memory scores 1 SD above the mean, 1 SD below the mean and mean scores (bottom panel). Error bars show SE.

Mentions: There were no effects of working memory or reading comprehension skill on the number of regressions made into the antecedent (zs < 1), and a marginal effect of reading comprehension skill (with longer reading times associated with poorer reading comprehension skill; b = 0.08, SE = .04, t = 1.89), but not working memory (t < 1), on total reading times in the antecedent region. There was, however, a three-way interaction between working memory, reading comprehension skill and typicality in the proportion of regressions made (b = 0.13, SE = .06, z = 2.09). In this model, the effect of typicality was also significant (b = 0.62, SE = .27, z = 2.31). We were not able to conduct formal statistical analyses to fully explore this interaction due to our small sample size and the continuous nature of two of the variables. However, we did examine the nature of this interaction graphically by plotting reading times for those children who scored 1 SD above (n = 4) and below (n = 2) below the mean on the AWMA and on the YARC (above: n = 3; below: n = 2) alongside mean scores. Figure 2 shows that although children with good comprehension skills and good working memory generally made numerically fewer regressions than those with weaker skills, the pattern differed across the two typicality conditions. Those with low working memory capacity made more regressions to the atypical than typical antecedent, whereas high-span children did not show this effect. However, both children with good and poor reading comprehensions skill made more regressions to the typical than atypical antecedent. This may suggest that high-span children had already resolved the anaphor, whereas those with lower spans were still in the process of resolving it. In contrast, reading comprehension skill did not distinguish reading patterns at this stage, perhaps suggesting that making a regressive saccade to the antecedent reflects the role of working memory in identifying the antecedent (possibly reflecting bonding), but the effect of reading comprehension skills is less relevant at this point. Note, though, that due to the small numbers of children contributing to these data, these patterns must be interpreted with caution.


Working memory, reading ability and the effects of distance and typicality on anaphor resolution in children.

Joseph HS, Bremner G, Liversedge SP, Nation K - J Cogn Psychol (Hove) (2015)

Proportion of regressions made into the typical and atypical antecedent region for children with reading comprehension scores 1 SD above the mean, 1 SD below the mean and mean scores (top panel); and for children with working memory scores 1 SD above the mean, 1 SD below the mean and mean scores (bottom panel). Error bars show SE.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4487586&req=5

f0002: Proportion of regressions made into the typical and atypical antecedent region for children with reading comprehension scores 1 SD above the mean, 1 SD below the mean and mean scores (top panel); and for children with working memory scores 1 SD above the mean, 1 SD below the mean and mean scores (bottom panel). Error bars show SE.
Mentions: There were no effects of working memory or reading comprehension skill on the number of regressions made into the antecedent (zs < 1), and a marginal effect of reading comprehension skill (with longer reading times associated with poorer reading comprehension skill; b = 0.08, SE = .04, t = 1.89), but not working memory (t < 1), on total reading times in the antecedent region. There was, however, a three-way interaction between working memory, reading comprehension skill and typicality in the proportion of regressions made (b = 0.13, SE = .06, z = 2.09). In this model, the effect of typicality was also significant (b = 0.62, SE = .27, z = 2.31). We were not able to conduct formal statistical analyses to fully explore this interaction due to our small sample size and the continuous nature of two of the variables. However, we did examine the nature of this interaction graphically by plotting reading times for those children who scored 1 SD above (n = 4) and below (n = 2) below the mean on the AWMA and on the YARC (above: n = 3; below: n = 2) alongside mean scores. Figure 2 shows that although children with good comprehension skills and good working memory generally made numerically fewer regressions than those with weaker skills, the pattern differed across the two typicality conditions. Those with low working memory capacity made more regressions to the atypical than typical antecedent, whereas high-span children did not show this effect. However, both children with good and poor reading comprehensions skill made more regressions to the typical than atypical antecedent. This may suggest that high-span children had already resolved the anaphor, whereas those with lower spans were still in the process of resolving it. In contrast, reading comprehension skill did not distinguish reading patterns at this stage, perhaps suggesting that making a regressive saccade to the antecedent reflects the role of working memory in identifying the antecedent (possibly reflecting bonding), but the effect of reading comprehension skills is less relevant at this point. Note, though, that due to the small numbers of children contributing to these data, these patterns must be interpreted with caution.

Bottom Line: Children showed effects of distance and typicality on the anaphor itself and also on the word to the right of the anaphor, suggesting that anaphoric processing begins immediately but continues after the eyes have left the anaphor.Furthermore, children showed no evidence of resolving anaphors in the most difficult condition (distant atypical antecedent), suggesting that anaphoric processing that is demanding may not occur online in children of this age.Finally, working memory capacity and reading comprehension skill affect the magnitude and time course of typicality and distance effects during anaphoric processing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health, Oxford Brookes University , Gipsy Lane Campus, Headington , Oxford OX3 0BP , UK ; Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford , South Parks Road, Oxford , OX1 3UD , UK.

ABSTRACT

We investigated the time course of anaphor resolution in children and whether this is modulated by individual differences in working memory and reading skill. The eye movements of 30 children (10-11 years) were monitored as they read short paragraphs in which (1) the semantic typicality of an antecedent and (2) its distance in relation to an anaphor were orthogonally manipulated. Children showed effects of distance and typicality on the anaphor itself and also on the word to the right of the anaphor, suggesting that anaphoric processing begins immediately but continues after the eyes have left the anaphor. Furthermore, children showed no evidence of resolving anaphors in the most difficult condition (distant atypical antecedent), suggesting that anaphoric processing that is demanding may not occur online in children of this age. Finally, working memory capacity and reading comprehension skill affect the magnitude and time course of typicality and distance effects during anaphoric processing.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus