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Now showing items 1 - 16 of 60

  • New Measure of Inattentiveness to Forward Roadway

    Pollatsek, Alexander   Divekar, Gautam   Fisher, Donald  

    Long glances inside a vehicle when driving are predictive of crashes on the road. Laboratory studies have shown that novice drivers are more likely to make such long in-vehicle glances than are more experienced drivers. Moreover, a training program for novice drivers, FOCAL, has been shown to reduce the number of long glances. However, it is not clear what the best measure is for assessing how risky the pattern of glances is. This paper proposes a new measure, summed excess glance durations, to assess the glance behavior in an interval of time in which the participant is attempting to do a task within the vehicle while driving. This measure gives a plausible estimate of the likelihood of a crash and is not subject to the same problems as are extant measures. Moreover, the measure can be used to estimate the threshold above which glance durations become unsafe, confirming previous, complementary, work on a driving simulator. Although the analyses suggest that approximately a 1.5-s threshold for evaluating excess glances appears to be best, any excess glance threshold between 1.0 and 2.5 s is a good discriminator between novice and experienced drivers. The authors also discuss how one can bridge the gap between laboratory observations and crash rates and argue that the threshold value for predicting crash rates is likely to depend on driving situations. The authors argue that the measure proposed, when suitably adjusted for driving conditions, is likely to be an excellent predictor of crash rates.
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  • New Measure of Inattentiveness to Forward Roadway

    Pollatsek, Alexander   Divekar, Gautam   Fisher, Donald L.  

    Long glances inside a vehicle when driving are predictive of crashes on the road. Laboratory studies have shown that novice drivers are more likely to make such long in-vehicle glances than are more experienced drivers. Moreover, a training program for novice drivers, FOCAL, has been shown to reduce the number of long glances. However, it is not clear what the best measure is for assessing how risky the pattern of glances is. This paper proposes a new measure, summed excess glance durations, to assess the glance behavior in an interval of time in which the participant is attempting to do a task within the vehicle while driving. This measure gives a plausible estimate of the likelihood of a crash and is not subject to the same problems as are extant measures. Moreover, the measure can be used to estimate the threshold above which glance durations become unsafe, confirming previous, complementary, work on a driving simulator. Although the analyses suggest that approximately a 1.5-s threshold for evaluating excess glances appears to be best, any excess glance threshold between 1.0 and 2.5 s is a good discriminator between novice and experienced drivers. The authors also discuss how one can bridge the gap between laboratory observations and crash rates and argue that the threshold value for predicting crash rates is likely to depend on driving situations. The authors argue that the measure proposed, when suitably adjusted for driving conditions, is likely to be an excellent predictor of crash rates.
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  • Identifying and Remediating Failures of Selective Attention in Older Drivers

    Pollatsek, Alexander   Romoser, Matthew R. E.   Fisher, Donald L.  

    Older drivers are primarily overinvolved in crashes at intersections, and failure to attend to regions that contain relevant information about potential hazards is a major contributor to this problem. Corroborating this, we have found that older drivers in both controlled scenarios on a driving simulator and somewhat less controlled situations on the road attend to (i.e., fixate) target regions in intersections significantly less frequently than do younger experienced drivers. Moreover, we have developed a training program that substantially improves older drivers' attention to these regions. Together, these findings indicate that older drivers' less frequent scanning of regions at intersections from which hazards may emerge may be due to their developing something like an unsafe habit rather than to deteriorating physical or mental capabilities and thus that training may be effective in reducing crashes.
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  • Processing novel and lexicalised Finnish compound words

    Pollatsek, Alexander   Bertram, Raymond   Hy?n?, Jukka  

    Participants read sentences in which novel and lexicalised two-constituent compound words appeared while their eye movements were measured. The frequency of the first constituent of the compounds was also varied factorially and the frequency of the lexicalised compounds was equated over the two conditions. The sentence frames prior to the target word were matched across conditions. Both lexicality and first constituent frequency had large and significant effects on gaze durations on the target word; moreover, the constituent frequency effect was significantly larger for the novel words. These results indicate that first constituent frequency has an effect in two stages: In the initial encoding of the compound and in the construction of meaning for the novel compound. The difference between this pattern of results and those for English prefixed words (Pollatsek, Slattery, & Juhasz, 2008) is apparently due to differences in the construction of meaning stage. A general model of the relationship of the processing of polymorphemic words to how they are fixated is presented.
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  • Word knowledge influences character perception

    Li, Xingshan   Pollatsek, Alexander  

    In two experiments, we examined whether context information can affect the activity of the nodes at the character level. Chinese readers viewed two Chinese characters; one was intact, but the other (the target) was embedded in a rectangle of visual noise and increased in visibility over time. The two characters constituted a word in one condition but did not in the other condition. The task was to press a button to indicate whether the character in the noise was at the top or bottom of the rectangle. (They did not have to identify the character.) Response times were faster in the word condition than in the nonword condition. Because the "wordness" of the stimulus was logically irrelevant to judging the location of the target character, the data indicate that processing at the word level can feed back to fairly low-level judgments, such as where a character is.
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  • The processing of Chinese compound words with ambiguous morphemes in sentence context

    Shen, Wei   Li, Xingshan   Pollatsek, Alexander  

    We employed a boundary paradigm to investigate how Chinese two-character compounds (i.e., compound words) are processed during reading. The first character of the compound was an ambiguous morpheme that had a dominant and subordinate meaning. In Experiment 1, there were three previews of the second character: identical to the target character; the preview provided subordinate biasing information (the subordinate condition); the preview provided dominant biasing information (the dominant condition). An invisible boundary was inserted between the two characters. We found that gaze durations and go-past times on the compounds were longer in the subordinate condition than those in the dominant or identical conditions. In Experiment 2, the semantic similarity between target and preview words in the dominant condition was manipulated to determine whether the differences in fixation durations in Experiment 1 resulted from the semantic similarity between the preview and target words. There were significant fixation duration differences on the target word between the dominant and subordinate conditions only when the preview and target words were semantically related. This finding indicated that the whole-word meaning plays an important role in processing Chinese compounds and that the whole-word access route is the principal processing route in reading two-character compounds in Chinese.
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  • Extrapolating spatial layout in scene representations

    Castelhano, Monica S.   Pollatsek, Alexander  

    Can the visual system extrapolate spatial layout of a scene to new viewpoints after a single view? In the present study, we examined this question by investigating the priming of spatial layout across depth rotations of the same scene (Sanocki & Epstein, 1997). Participants had to indicate which of two dots superimposed on objects in the target scene appeared closer to them in space. There was as much priming from a prime with a viewpoint that was 100 different from the test image as from a prime that was identical to the target; however, there was no reliable priming from larger differences in viewpoint. These results suggest that a scene's spatial layout can be extrapolated, but only to a limited extent.
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  • The interpretation of ambiguous trimorphemic words in sentence context.

    Pollatsek, Alexander   Drieghe, Denis   Stockall, Linnaea   de Almeida, Roberto G  

    Many trimorphemic words are structurally and semantically ambiguous. For example, unlockable can either be un-lockable (cannot be locked) or unlock-able (can be unlocked). Which interpretation is preferred and whether the preceding sentence context affects the initial interpretation is not clear from prior research. The present experiment embedded ambiguous trimorphemic words in sentence contexts, manipulated whether or not preceding context disambiguated the meaning, and examined the pattern of fixation durations on the ambiguous word and the remainder of the text. The results indicated that the unlock-able interpretation was preferred; moreover, preceding context did not exert a significant effect until the eyes had initially exited from the target word.
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  • Parafoveal processing within and between words

    Juhasz, Barbara J.   Pollatsek, Alexander   Hyona, Jukka   Drieghe, Denis   Rayner, Keith  

    Parafoveal preview was examined within and between words in two eye movement experiments. In Experiment 1, unspaced and spaced English compound words were used (e.g., basketball, tennis ball). Prior to fixating the second lexeme, either a correct or a partial parafoveal preview (e.g., ball or badk) was provided using the boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975). There was a larger effect of parafoveal preview on unspaced compound words than on spaced compound words. However, the parafoveal preview effect on spaced compound words was larger than would be predicted on the basis of prior research. Experiment 2 examined whether this large effect was due to spaced compounds forming a larger linguistic unit by pairing spaced compounds with nonlexicalized adjective-noun pairs. There were no significant interactions between item type and parafoveal preview, suggesting that it is the syntactic predictability of the noun that is driving the large preview effect.
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  • Parafoveal processing during reading is reduced across a morphological boundary

    Drieghe, Denis   Pollatsek, Alexander   Juhasz, Barbara J.   Rayner, Keith  

    A boundary change manipulation was implemented within a monomorphemic word (e.g., fountaom as a preview for fountain), where parallel processing should occur given adequate visual acuity, and within an unspaced compound (bathroan as a preview for bathroom), where some serial processing of the constituents is likely. Consistent with that hypothesis, there was no effect of the preview manipulation on fixation time on the 1st constituent of the compound, whereas there was on the corresponding letters of the monomorphemic word. There was also a larger preview disruption on gaze duration on the whole monomorphemic word than on the compound, suggesting more parallel processing within monomorphemic words. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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  • Integration of multiple views of scenes

    Pollatsek, Alexander   Rayner, Keith  

    In two experiments, memory was tested for changes in viewpoints in naturalistic scenes. in the key study condition, participants viewed two images of the same scene from viewpoints 40 degrees apart. There were two other study conditions: The two study images were identical or were of different scenes. A test image followed immediately, and participants judged whether it was identical to either of the study images. The scene in the test image was always the same as in a study image and was at least 20 degrees from any study image on different trials. Two models were tested: (1) views stored and retrieved independently and (2) views combined at retrieval. The crucial test of these hypotheses involved a comparison (in the key study condition) of the interpolation condition (the test image was presented between the two study images and 20 degrees from both) and the extrapolation condition (it was 20 degrees from one study image and 60 degrees from the other). Performance in the interpolation condition was far worse than what was predicted by the first model, whereas the second model fit the data quite well. The latter model is parsimonious in that it integrates previous experiences without requiring the integration of the views in memory. We review some of this model's broader implications.
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  • Eye movements and non-canonical reading: Comments on Kennedy and Pynte (2008)

    Rayner, Keith   Pollatsek, Alexander   Liversedge, Simon P.   Reichle, Erik D.  

    Kennedy and Pynte [Kennedy, A., & Pynte, J. (2008). The consequences of violations to reading order: An eye movement analysis. Vision Research, 48, 2309-2320] presented data that they suggested pose problems for models of eye movement control in reading in which words are encoded serially. They focus on situations in which pairs of words are fixated out of order (i.e., the first word is skipped and the second fixated prior to a regression back to the first word). We strongly disagree with their claims and contest their arguments. We argue that their data set was obtained selectively and the events they believe are problematic do not occur frequently during reading. Furthermore, we do not consider that Kennedy and Pynte's arguments pose serious difficulties for serial models of reading such as E-Z Reader. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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  • The processing of novel and lexicalised prefixed words in reading

    Pollatsek, Alexander   Slattery, Timothy J.   Juhasz, Barbara  

    Two experiments compared how relatively long novel prefixed words (e.g., overfarm) and existing prefixed words were processed in reading. The use of novel prefixed words allows one to examine the roles of whole-word access and decompositional processing in the processing of non-novel prefixed words. The two experiments found that, although there was a large cost to novelty (e.g., gaze durations were about 100 ms longer for novel prefixed words), the effect of the frequency of the root morpheme on Fixation measures was about the same for novel and non-novel prefixed words for most measures. This finding rules out a ("horse-race") dual-route model of processing for existing prefixed words in which the whole-word and decompositional route are parallel and independent, as such a model would predict a substantially larger root frequency effect for novel words (where whole-word processes do not exist). The most likely model to explain the processing of prefixed words is a parallel interactive one.
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  • Directional processing within the perceptual span during visual target localization

    Greene, Harold H.   Pollatsek, Alexander   Masserang, Kathleen   Lee, Yen Ju   Rayner, Keith  

    In order to understand how processing occurs within the effective field of vision (le perceptual span) during visual target localization, a gaze-contingent moving mask procedure was used to disrupt parafoveal information pickup along the vertical and the horizontal visual fields When the mask was present within the horizontal visual field, there was a relative increase in saccade probability along the nearby vertical field, but not along the opposite horizontal field When the mask was present either above or below fixation, saccades downwards were reduced in magnitude This pattern of data suggests that parafoveal information selection (indexed by probability of saccade direction) and the extent of spatial parafoveal processing in a given direction (Indexed by saccade amplitude) may be controlled by somewhat different mechanisms (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
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  • The role of semantic transparency in the processing of English compound words

    Frisson, Steven   Niswander-Klement, Elizabeth   Pollatsek, Alexander  

    Experiment I examined whether the semantic transparency of an English unspaced compound word affected how long it took to process it in reading. Three types of opaque words were each compared with a matched set of transparent words (i.e. matched on the length and frequency of the constituents and the frequency of the word as a whole). Two sets of the opaque words were partially opaque: either the first constituent was not related to the meaning of the compound (opaque-transparent) or the second constituent was not related to the meaning of the compound (transparent-opaque). In the third set (opaque-opaque), neither constituent was related to the meaning of the compound. For all three sets, there was no significant difference between the opaque and the transparent words on any eye-movement measure. This replicates an earlier finding with Finnish compound words (Pollatsek & Hyona, 2005) and indicates that, although there is now abundant evidence that the component constituents play a role in the encoding of compound words, the meaning of the compound word is not constructed from the parts, at least for compound words for which a lexical entry exists. Experiment 2 used the same compounds but with a space between the constituents. This presentation resulted in a transparency effect, indicating that when an assembly route is 'forced', transparency does play a role.
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  • Limits on integrating motion information across saccades.

    Dahlstrom-Hakki, Ibrahim   Pollatsek, Alexander  

    In two experiments, we investigated whether people could detect changes in the rotary motion of a cube. A rendering of a cube rotating at a constant angular velocity was presented on a video monitor and, at a key point in the trial, a cross was presented to one side of the cube as a cue for a saccade. On some trials, a change in the rotation occurred either about 100 msec before the saccade or during the saccade; on other trials, there was no change. The change consisted of moving the cube to a new position in the "rotation sequence," after which it continued to rotate at the same angular velocity as before. There was also a control on all trials to ensure that change detection was not due to the detection of low-level motion. Although detection of the change was well above chance when it occurred during the fixation, it was at chance when it occurred during the saccade, except in the case of one participant (who was in both experiments). This chance performance also occurred in Experiment 2 for (1) a slower rotation speed and (2) an axis of rotation that made the rotation planar. The participant who had above chance performance (and as good as that when the change occurred during a fixation) reported using a "strategy" that did not track the path of the cube. It thus appears that there is no natural way in which the visualsystem tracks this rotary motion, and that detection of change requires some sort of recoding. This finding raises the question of whether good performance in other, apparently similar, motion-detection tasks is a result of similar recoding.
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