A Model of the Time Course and Content of Reading

Cognitive Science 6 (2):157-203 (1982)
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Abstract

This paper describes a computer simulation of reading that is strongly driven by eye fixation data from human readers. The simulation, READER, is a natural language understanding system that reads a text word by word and whose processing cycles on each word have some correspondence with the human gaze duration on that word. READER operates within a newly developed information processing architecture, a Collaborative, Activation‐based, Production System (CAPS) that permits the modeling of the temporal properties of human comprehension. CAPS allows for concurrent, collaborative execution of processes operating at different levels of analysis. As READER encounters each successive word, the word is operated on by processes at the levels of word encoding, lexical access, syntactic and semantic analysis, and referential and schema‐level processes. Like human readers, READER uses a strategy of immediacy of comprehension, attempting to interpret each word as soon as it is encountered, rather than unnecessarily buffering information. A major contribution of this simulation is its use of human performance characteristics in constraining and determining the model's mechanisms.

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