Research Communication
The greatest ideas are worthless if we do not communicate to peer researchers and other interested parties.

Oct 13, 2021  Research Seminar in UCLan

Professor Simon Liversedge was invited to give a talk titled “The importance of the positional probability of word final but not word initial characters for word segmentation and identification in children and adults' natural Chinese reading”. There were more than 20 colleagues and students attending this meeting. We had excellent discussions about issues associated with Chinese words, word segmentation and MCU hypothesis.  The abstract is as below:

The importance of the positional probability of word final (but not word initial) characters for word segmentation and identification in children and adults' natural Chinese reading

 

Feifei Liang, Qi Gao, Xin Li, Yongsheng Wang, Xuejun Bai & Simon P. Liversedge

 

Word spacing is important in guiding eye movements during spaced alphabetic reading. Chinese is unspaced and it remains unclear as to how Chinese readers segment and identify words in reading. We conducted two parallel experiments to investigate whether the positional probabilities of the initial and the final characters of a multi-character word affected word segmentation and identification in Chinese reading. Two-character words were selected as targets. In Experiment 1, the initial character's positional probability was manipulated as being either high or low, and the final character was kept identical across the two conditions. In Experiment 2, an analogous manipulation was made for the final character of the target word. We recorded adults' and children's eye movements when they read sentences containing these words. In Experiment 1 reading times on targets did not differ in the two conditions for both children and adults, providing no evidence that a word initial character's positional probability contributes to word segmentation. In Experiment 2, adults had shorter reading times, and made fewer refixations on targets that were comprised of final characters with high relative to low positional probabilities; a similar effect was observed in children, but this effect had a slower time course. The results demonstrate that the positional probability of the final (but not the initial) character of a word influences segmentation commitments in reading. It suggests that Chinese readers identify where a currently fixated word ends, and via this commitment, by default, they identify where the subsequent word begins.

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Nov - Dec, 2021 Eyetracking Training in UCLan

We will carry out a series of training sessions on the use of eye trackers and associated software for data acquisition and analysis. The details are below:

 

Nov 12 The Dikablis Eye Trackers Training I

Nov 17 Eyelink 1000 eye tracking Training I

Nov 29 Eyelink 1000 eye tracking Training II

Dec 3 The Dikablis Eye Trackers Training II

For the Dikablis trainings, we will meet in the Analysis Suite situated in the Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience research laboratories.  During these sessions we will take a look at the eye tracking equipment, think about how it works, try to get it working and acquire some data, consider the analysis software and think about how we might undertake data analyses using it.

For the Eyelink training, we will meet in the EEG and eye movement laboratories. We invite you all to spend time working with the equipment to develop your experience and confidence prior to you starting to use eye tracking in your own research.

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Mar 10, 2021  Research Seminar in UCLan

Professor Xingshan Li (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China) was invited to give a talk titled “How Chinese readers segment incremental words?”. Following, Professor Simon P. Liversedge (University of Central Lancashire) gave a presentation titled “Word segmentation and identification during Chinese reading: Testing the MCU Hypothesis”.  There were more than 50 colleagues and students attending this meeting. We had excellent discussions about issues associated with Chinese words, phrases, word segmentation and MCU hypothesis.  Their abstracts are as below:

How Chinese Readers Segment Incremental Words?

Xingshan Li

In talk, I will report two eye-tracking experiments on how Chinese readers segment incremental words while reading Chinese. Incremental words are multicharacter words containing a subset of characters that constitute another word (referred to as the embedded word). For example, in a word containing three characters ABC (e.g., “老板娘,” meaning landlady), the first two characters AB (“老板,” meaning boss) constitute an embedded word. In the two experiments, Chinese readers read sentences with 3-character incremental words. In Experiment 1, the incremental words were always plausible, and the verbs prior to the target words were manipulated so that the embedded word of the incremental word was either plausible or implausible as an independent word. The eye-movement data showed that the plausibility manipulation did not influence the reading times on the incremental words nor their embedded words. In Experiment 2, we manipulated the plausibility of both incremental and embedded words. No plausibility effect of the embedded word was observed when the incremental words were plausible. However, the plausibility effect of the embedded word was obtained when the incremental words were implausible. These results suggest that Chinese readers tend to segment and integrate incremental words as a whole unit when they are plausible. However, when incremental words are implausible, the embedded words are segmented as independent words.

Word segmentation and identification during Chinese reading: 

Testing the MCU Hypothesis

Simon P. Liversedge, University of Central Lancashire,

Chuanli Zang, University of Central Lancashire & Tianjin Normal University

A contentious recent debate in the field of eye movement control and reading concerns whether lexical identification of words occurs serially, or in parallel.  Two strong and opposing theoretical positions in relation to models of eye movement control in reading have emerged; the serial position (e.g., E-Z Reader) in which words are lexically accessed and identified sequentially, and the parallel position (e.g., SWIFT; OB1 Reader) in which words are lexically identified in parallel.  More recently, Li and Pollatsek (2020) have put forward the Chinese Reading Model (CRM) that is specifically designed to explain word segmentation and identification in Chinese reading.  The characteristics of this model make it difficult to categorise as serial or parallel.

 

Over the last two or three years, we have carried out a series of experiments to test the Multi-Constituent Unit (MCU) hypothesis (see Zang, 2019; also see Cutter et al., 2014; Zang et al., 2021a,b).  I will describe one or two of these studies in detail and briefly report summaries of the remainder.  I will argue that the results consistently demonstrate patterns of effects consistent with the MCU hypothesis.  I will suggest that these results have important consequences for theoretical discussions focused on issues of serialism and parallelism in reading.  I will also suggest that the CRM might be readily modified such that it will account readily for the MCU findings.  More generally, I will suggest that characterising models of oculomotor control in reading in terms of serialism or parallelism is no longer satisfactory and that we require more nuanced and sophisticated language and perspectives to allow us to appropriately evaluate current models of eye movement control.

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Feb 10, 2021  Research Seminar in UCLan

We invited Dr Kayleigh Warrington (Nottingham Trent University) to give a presentation titled "A Beginners Guide to Bayes Factor Analysis". The abstract is as below.

 

In recent years, Bayesian methods have become an increasingly common sight in psycholinguistics research papers. However, understanding and interpreting these statistics can be a confusing and  intimidating process. In this talk, I will provide a simple introduction to Bayes factors, a tool that has been described as “an accessible bridge to Bayesian inference”. I will address questions such as: what is a Bayes factor? Why might I want to calculate it? How do I interpret and report the results of a Bayes factor analysis? I will include a mix of theoretical background and practical tips for analysis. 

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Jan 29, 2021 Research Seminar 1 at the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

Prof Simon Liversedge was invited to give a seminar talk titled “Does lexical processing occur serially or in parallel in reading?” at the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. He presented experiments that had been conducted in the MCU project. The abstract is as below.

There has been a significant amount of eye movement research to investigate the psychological processes underlying normal reading.  Most of this work has focused on skilled adult reading of alphabetic languages (predominantly English).  Arguably, the most contentious recent debate in the field of eye movement control and reading concerns whether lexical identification of words occurs serially, or in parallel.  Two strong and opposing theoretical positions in relation to models of eye movement control in reading have emerged; the serial position (e.g., E-Z Reader) in which words are lexically accessed and identified sequentially, and the parallel position (e.g., SWIFT; OB1 Reader) in which words are lexically identified in parallel.  Evidence exists to support each position and the field has reached something of an impasse.

Recently, there has been an increase in research investigating processes underlying reading in non-alphabetic languages.  In this talk I will argue that consideration of experimental findings from Chinese reading studies pushes us to think somewhat differently about existing theoretical frameworks.  Specifically, how unspaced text is segmented and processed in relation to oculomotor decisions during reading.  I will describe several recent studies that we have conducted to test the Multi-Constituent Unit (MCU) Hypothesis that may have important implications for existing theoretical accounts.  We believe that the MCU hypothesis may allow us to move beyond the current deadlock.

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Jan 27, 2021  Research Seminar in UCLan

Dr Chuanli Zang presented a seminar talk to explain to colleagues  how to calculate effect sizes and undertake power analyses. Calculating effect sizes and power analyses are important for any research plan, however, the process is sometimes confusing for researchers, especially for those working in the field of psycholinguistics as such studies employ a sample of stimuli (for example, words or sentences) and a sample of participants, a design characteristic that is not covered by most power formulae such as G-power.  Dr Zang provided a comprehensive tutorial to assist in understanding and conducting power analyses and effect sizes in t-test, ANOVAs and Mixed Effects Models.  She also introduced some recent software packages that can be used for these calculations.

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Nov 4, 2020  Research Seminar in UCLan

We invited Dr Adam Parker (University of Oxford) and Dr Martin Vasilev (Bournemouth University) to give us seminar talks at UCLan. Dr Parker’s title was Effects of reading and spelling ability on return-sweep behaviour, and Dr Vasilev’s title was Return-sweeps and oculomotor targeting during reading. The abstracts are as below.

 

Effects of reading and spelling ability on return-sweep behaviour

A number of studies have examined the effect of individual differences in language proficiency on eye movements during reading. However, this work has almost exclusively focused on the reading of single lines of text where information for parafoveal processing is routinely available. Here, a single experiment is reported which examined how differences in reading and spelling ability influenced return-sweep (the eye movement that takes a reader’s gaze from the end of one line to the start of the next) and corrective saccade parameters. Less-skilled readers/spellers tended to launch their return-sweeps further from the end of the line, prefer a viewing location closer to the start of the line, and required more corrective saccades. Additional effects of reading/spelling ability are reported for fixations adjacent to return-sweeps. Both reading and spelling ability supported encoding at the very start of the line when return-sweeps were accurate but not when the very first fixation on a line preceded a corrective saccade. These results suggest that language proficiency supports letter encoding across line boundaries and influences saccade targeting even in the absence of parafoveal target information.

Return-sweeps and oculomotor targeting during reading

Return-sweeps are long eye-movements that take readers’ gaze from the end of one line text to the beginning of the next. They differ from shorter intra-line saccades in that the saccade target usually falls well into peripheral vision where readers don’t have the benefit of parafoveal preview. As such, little is known about what readers are targeting with their return-sweeps. We report two experiments that manipulated typographical properties of the text, such as contrast and character size, to help answer this question. Initial results suggest that readers use typographical properties of the text to land in an optimal position on the new line. However, these long saccades may not necessarily be targeted towards the centre of the first word on the new line.

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April 9-11, 2020 CICEM in Tianjin, China

 

The 9th China International Conference on Eye Movements, CICEM 2020, will take place from April 9th to April 11th 2020, in Tianjin Normal University, China. For more than ten years, CICEM has grown stronger and more mature gaining recognition as a regular international conference of significance. After the conference, Dr Federica Degno and Prof. Simon P. Liversedge will organise a one-day workshop on "Co-registration of EEG and Eye Movement Data: Principles, Methods, and Data Processing" on 12th April. Dr. Bernhard Angele will present a one-day workshop on "Using R and Linear Mixed-Effects Models for Cognitive Sciences Research" on 13th April, and Prof. Liversedge will give a one-day workshop on "Becoming Effective at Writing and Publishing Papers in Western Journals" on 14th April.

Unfortunately, this event did not take place due to Covid 19.

More details: 

https://www.cpsbeijing.org/cms/show.action?code=publish_402880766305a05d016305ffc2710078&siteid=100000&newsid=1bfd0a57b437444eb57316f76e4b18d5&channelid=0000000036

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April 3-5, 2020 CPS/EPS Joint Meeting in Beijing, China

The Joint CPS/EPS Meeting will take place in Peking University, Beijing, China from 3rd-5th April 2020. This joint meeting will include the 18th EPS Mid-Career Lecture by Matthew Rushworth with an associated symposium organised by Xiaohong Wan.

Prof. Simon Liversedge and Dr Chuanli Zang will present back-to-back talks on MCU project, the titles are "Preview effects for two-constituent words and phrases during natural Chinese reading", and "Foveal and parafovel processing of Chinese three-constituent idioms and phrases" .

Unfortunately, this event did not take place due to Covid 19.

More details:

https://eps.ac.uk/next-meeting/

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Feb 26, 2020 NWVC, BPS Research Seminar 1 in UCLan

This first seminar will take place in the University of Central Lancashire, and mark the official launch of the North West Visual Cognition group. The seminar will focus on how the use of eye tracking has informed the field of human language processing and development. 

More details:

https://northwestvisualcog.wixsite.com/nwvc/seminar-series

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Feb 19, 2020 Research Seminar in Edge Hill

Prof Simon Liversedge was invited to give a talk titled “Does lexical processing occur serially or in parallel in reading?” at the Edge Hill University. Abstract is attached below.

 

There has been a significant amount of eye movement research to investigate the psychological processes underlying normal reading.  Most of this work has focused on skilled adult reading of alphabetic languages (predominantly English).  Arguably, the most contentious recent debate in the field of eye movement control and reading concerns whether lexical identification of words occurs serially, or in parallel.  Two strong and opposing theoretical positions in relation to models of eye movement control in reading have emerged; the serial position (e.g., E-Z Reader) in which words are lexically accessed and identified sequentially, and the parallel position (e.g., SWIFT; OB1 Reader) in which words are lexically identified in parallel.  Evidence exists to support each position and the field has reached something of an impasse.

Recently, there has been an increase in research investigating processes underlying reading in non-alphabetic languages.  In this talk I will argue that consideration of experimental findings from Chinese reading studies pushes us to think somewhat differently about existing theoretical frameworks.  Specifically, how unspaced text is segmented and processed in relation to oculomotor decisions during reading.  I will describe several recent studies that may have important implications for these existing theoretical accounts and may move us beyond the current deadlock.

Dec 12, 2019 Official Launch NWVC Group in Salford

 

On Dec 12, we launched the North West Visual Cognition group.  The group has been formed by a number of colleagues across several universities in the North West who have interests broadly in the area of human vision, cognition, visual cognition and eye movement research.  The group meetings are sponsored over the next two years by the British Psychological Society.  We will hold at least 4 seminars with leading international speakers (each seminar being a day long with multiple research presentations).  We hope that the group will attract colleagues from the the UK and beyond to attend and we welcome all, particularly those with research interests in this area. If you would like to attend the seminars, please keep an eye out over future months.  All are welcome.

More details see the attached flyer.

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Nov 12-17, 2019 Psychonomic Meeting in Montreal, Canada

Professor Simon Liversedge, Dr Valerie Benson, Chuanli Zang, Federica Degno and Mengsi Wang attended the 60th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society from November 14-17 2019 in Montreal, Canada. Liversedge present a talk titled "Examining Semantic Preview Effects Using a Stroop Boundary Paradigm".  Zang present a poster including four experiments based on the MCU project, titled "Parafoveal Processing in Chinese Reading: Evidence for the Multi-Constituent Unit (Mcu) Hypothesis", see program.

More details:

https://www.psychonomic.org/page/2019program

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Aug 18-22, 2019 ECEM Conference in Alicante, Spain

 

The 20th European Conference on Eye Movements, ECEM 2019, took place from Sunday, August 18th, to Thursday, August 22nd, in Alicante, Spain. Over the three decades, ECEM has become the largest scientific meeting on eye movement research worldwide.  The conference brings together a vibrant community of researchers working towards a better understanding of eye movements, and their use in the study of a wide range of topics in neuroscience, cognitive science and various applied fields.

Drs Federica Degno, Manman Zhang, Mengsi Wang, and Chuanli Zang were invited to present their current experimental work. Zang's submission entitled "Preview effects in reading of Chinese two-constituent words and phrases", as part of the MCU project was accepted as a talk presentation. 

 

More details:

https://ecem2019.com

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July 10, 2019 Invited talks in Southampton

Dr Feifei Liang and Chuanli Zang were invited by Dr Hazel Blythe to the School of Psychology, University of Southampton to give a talk. The titles were "Does a character’s positional frequency affect two-character word segmentation and identification in Chinese reading?" and " Preview effects in reading of Chinese two-constituent words and phrases". 

July 3-4, 2019 EEG and EMs Co-registration Workshop in UCLan

 

On the 3rd and 4th July,  a workshop on EEG and Eye Movements Co-Registration was held in UCLan. During the first day, Dr Federica Degno and Prof Liversedge present the theoretical and methodological aspects of co-registration research, and  research in face processing, visual search and reading. During the second day, there were tutorial sessions in which we taught people how to carry out co-registration research (i.e., simultaneous measurement of EEG and Eye Movement data).  

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June 24-29, 2019 Distinguished Collaborator Program in UCLan

Between 24th June and 29th June Professor Liversedge hosted Professor Xuejun Bai, Professor Guoli Yan and Dr Xin Li from Tianjin Normal University as distinguished guests in the School of Psychology, UCLan.  During this period the host, his UCLan colleagues and the visiting distinguished guests engaged in discussions on a variety of research projects. Some of these projects are currently externally funded and underway (ESRC, CSC funding), whilst others topics of discussion were research projects that will form the basis of future research grant applications.  In addition, we held discussions to explore the possibility of staff and student exchange between UCLan and Tianjin Normal University over future years.

 

As part of the Distinguished Collaborator Program, we organised a Symposium titled “Using eye movements to investigate reading in Chinese and English” held on 26th June 2019 in the Maudland Building (Room MB51). The aim of the symposium was to bring together UK and Chinese researchers to give presentations detailing research that increases current understanding of the psychological processes underlying reading in Chinese and English. The symposium included 10 presentations by UK and China researchers, including Professor Xuejun Bai (Tianjin Normal University), Dr Xin Li (Tianjin Normal University), Professor Guoli Yan (Tianjin Normal University), Professor Kevin Paterson (University of Leicester), Dr Sarah White (University of Leicester), as well as Dr Chuanli Zang (UCLan) and Professor Simon Liversedge (UCLan).  The quality of the presentations was very high and the topics under discussion were of broad interest.  

 

More details see the attached flyer.

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May 23-24, 2019 Eye Movement Research Workshop in UCLan

 

On the 23rd and 24th May we held a workshop on eye movement research.  During the first day there were presentations from Dr Valerie Benson, Dr Chuanli Zang, Dr Federica Degno, Prof. Nick Donnelly and Prof. Simon Liversedge on using eye movement methodology to examine different aspects of human visual and cognitive processing.  During the second day there were tutorial sessions in which we taught people how to use SR Research Experiment Builder (for setting up eye tracking experiments using the Eyelink 1000 eye tracker) and SR Research Data Viewer (for analysing data generated by an Eyelink 1000 eye tracker).

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April 29, 2019 Knowledge Exchange Workshop in Leicester

 

Professor Kevin Paterson held a Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Monday 29th of Aprilat the George Davis Centre (room 2.13). The aim of this meeting was to present briefly our current work and discuss some ideas for future collaboration. Professor Simon Liversedge, Dr Federica Degno and Chuanli Zang were invited to present our research interests and current work. Particularly, Zang talked about the Chinese writing system and her experimental research investigating Chinese reading and their implications for current theoretical accounts in reading.

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Oct 18, 2018 Invited talk in Chaucer Club, MRC CBU, Cambridge

 

Professor Simon Liversedge was invited to give a talk at the Chaucer Club, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge on Oct 18 2018. The title of the presentation is "Processing Multi-Constituent Units during Reading: Non-alphabetic languages, word segmentation, and serialism and parallelism in oculomotor control ". 

More details:

http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/seminar-information/chaucer-club/

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