We asked whether people process words during saccades when reading sentences. Irwin (1998) demonstrated that such processing occurs when words are presented in isolation. In our experiment, participants read part of a sentence ending in a high- or low-frequency target word and then made a long (40°) or short (10°) saccade to the rest of the sentence. We found a frequency effect on the target word and the first word after the saccade, but the effect was greater for short than for long saccades. Readers therefore performed more lexical processing during long saccades than during short ones. Hence, lexical processing takes place during saccades in text comprehension.
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