Syntactic ambiguity resolution in dyslexia: An examination of cognitive factors underlying eye movement differences and comprehension failures

Stella, Marianna and Engelhardt, Paul (2019) Syntactic ambiguity resolution in dyslexia: An examination of cognitive factors underlying eye movement differences and comprehension failures. Dyslexia, 25 (2). pp. 115-141. ISSN 1076-9242

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Abstract

This study examined eye movements and comprehension of temporary syntactic ambiguities in individuals with dyslexia, as few studies have focused on sentence‐level comprehension in dyslexia. We tested 50 participants with dyslexia and 50 typically developing controls, in order to investigate (a) whether dyslexics have difficulty revising temporary syntactic misinterpretations and (b) underlying cognitive factors (i.e., working memory and processing speed) associated with eye movement differences and comprehension failures. In the sentence comprehension task, participants read subordinate‐main structures that were either ambiguous or unambiguous, and we also manipulated the type of verb contained in the subordinate clause (i.e., reflexive or optionally transitive). Results showed a main effect of group on comprehension, in which individuals with dyslexia showed
poorer comprehension than typically developing readers. In addition, participants with dyslexia showed longer total reading times on the disambiguating region of syntactically ambiguous sentences. With respect to cognitive factors, working memory was more associated with group differences than was processing speed. Conclusions focus on sentence‐level syntactic processing issues in dyslexia (a previously under‐researched area) and the relationship between online and offline measures of syntactic ambiguity resolution.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: dyslexia, eye movements, reading disability, sentence processing, syntactic ambiguity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Marianna Stella
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2019 13:24
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2019 12:25
URI: http://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1044

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