Limits...
Perceptual and Cognitive Factors Imposing "Speed Limits" on Reading Rate: A Study with the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation.

Primativo S, Spinelli D, Zoccolotti P, De Luca M, Martelli M - PLoS ONE (2016)

Bottom Line: When the number of stimuli exceeded the short-term memory span, RR decreased to 800 wpm.Overall, data indicate a speed limit of 300 wpm, which corresponds to the time needed for eye movement execution, i.e., the most time consuming mechanism.Results reconcile differences in reading rates reported by different laboratories and thus provide suggestions for targeting different components of reading rate.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Adults read at high speed, but estimates of their reading rate vary greatly, i.e., from 100 to 1500 words per minute (wpm). This discrepancy is likely due to different recording methods and to the different perceptual and cognitive processes involved in specific test conditions. The present study investigated the origins of these notable differences in RSVP reading rate (RR). In six experiments we investigated the role of many different perceptual and cognitive variables. The presence of a mask caused a steep decline in reading rate, with an estimated masking cost of about 200 wpm. When the decoding process was isolated, RR approached values of 1200 wpm. When the number of stimuli exceeded the short-term memory span, RR decreased to 800 wpm. The semantic context contributed to reading speed only by a factor of 1.4. Finally, eye movements imposed an upper limit on RR (around 300 wpm). Overall, data indicate a speed limit of 300 wpm, which corresponds to the time needed for eye movement execution, i.e., the most time consuming mechanism. Results reconcile differences in reading rates reported by different laboratories and thus provide suggestions for targeting different components of reading rate.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Reading rate measured separately for each of the four words in the stream.Each threshold was independently measured with a 120 words list, for a total of 480 stimuli in the experiment. No mask was used. Bars represent standard deviations.
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pone.0153786.g002: Reading rate measured separately for each of the four words in the stream.Each threshold was independently measured with a 120 words list, for a total of 480 stimuli in the experiment. No mask was used. Bars represent standard deviations.

Mentions: A repeated measures ANOVA was run with word ordinal position as repeated factor. The main effect of word ordinal position was significant (F3, 15 = 54.44, p < .0001). As shown in Fig 2, the first and last words had the highest reading rates (1365 and 1787 wpm, respectively). LSD post hoc comparisons revealed that the first word had a higher reading rate than the second (696 wpm, p < .0001) and third (496 wpm, p < .0001) words. Similarly, the fourth word in the stream had a higher reading rate than the other three words in the stream (all ps < .05). The difference between the second and the third word was also statistically significant (p < .01), with a higher reading rate for the second word.


Perceptual and Cognitive Factors Imposing "Speed Limits" on Reading Rate: A Study with the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation.

Primativo S, Spinelli D, Zoccolotti P, De Luca M, Martelli M - PLoS ONE (2016)

Reading rate measured separately for each of the four words in the stream.Each threshold was independently measured with a 120 words list, for a total of 480 stimuli in the experiment. No mask was used. Bars represent standard deviations.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835101&req=5

pone.0153786.g002: Reading rate measured separately for each of the four words in the stream.Each threshold was independently measured with a 120 words list, for a total of 480 stimuli in the experiment. No mask was used. Bars represent standard deviations.
Mentions: A repeated measures ANOVA was run with word ordinal position as repeated factor. The main effect of word ordinal position was significant (F3, 15 = 54.44, p < .0001). As shown in Fig 2, the first and last words had the highest reading rates (1365 and 1787 wpm, respectively). LSD post hoc comparisons revealed that the first word had a higher reading rate than the second (696 wpm, p < .0001) and third (496 wpm, p < .0001) words. Similarly, the fourth word in the stream had a higher reading rate than the other three words in the stream (all ps < .05). The difference between the second and the third word was also statistically significant (p < .01), with a higher reading rate for the second word.

Bottom Line: When the number of stimuli exceeded the short-term memory span, RR decreased to 800 wpm.Overall, data indicate a speed limit of 300 wpm, which corresponds to the time needed for eye movement execution, i.e., the most time consuming mechanism.Results reconcile differences in reading rates reported by different laboratories and thus provide suggestions for targeting different components of reading rate.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy.

ABSTRACT
Adults read at high speed, but estimates of their reading rate vary greatly, i.e., from 100 to 1500 words per minute (wpm). This discrepancy is likely due to different recording methods and to the different perceptual and cognitive processes involved in specific test conditions. The present study investigated the origins of these notable differences in RSVP reading rate (RR). In six experiments we investigated the role of many different perceptual and cognitive variables. The presence of a mask caused a steep decline in reading rate, with an estimated masking cost of about 200 wpm. When the decoding process was isolated, RR approached values of 1200 wpm. When the number of stimuli exceeded the short-term memory span, RR decreased to 800 wpm. The semantic context contributed to reading speed only by a factor of 1.4. Finally, eye movements imposed an upper limit on RR (around 300 wpm). Overall, data indicate a speed limit of 300 wpm, which corresponds to the time needed for eye movement execution, i.e., the most time consuming mechanism. Results reconcile differences in reading rates reported by different laboratories and thus provide suggestions for targeting different components of reading rate.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus