Eye movements in reading span tasks to working memory functions and second language reading

In an eye-tracking experiment with late second language (L2) learners, the present study probed into the relationship between eye-movement (EM) measures and the processing and storage outcomes of reading span tasks (RST) to determine whether EM patterns actually reflect working memory (WM) functions in the L2. Additionally, it examined the relationship between WM capacity as indexed by EMs and L2 reading comprehension to explore whether it was possible to map offline and online data as predictors of L2 reading. The findings reveal that storage performance was negatively affected by fixation durations within the “critical” region of each sentence, indicating trade-off between processing and storage. Additionally, regressions launched from the sentence-final region were negatively related to not only storage and processing performance but also L2 reading comprehension. These results have implications regarding whether EMs can be instrumental in validating offline span task outcomes and their association with L2 reading.


Alptekin, C., Erçetin, G. (2010). The role of L1 and L2 working memory in literal and inferential comprehension in L2 reading. Journal of Research in Reading, 33, 206—219. http://doi.org/fsfjxc

Alptekin, C., Erçetin, G. (2011). The effects of working memory capacity and content familiarity on literal and inferential comprehension in L2 reading. TESOL Quarterly, 45, 235—266. http:/ldoi.org/dzdjjp

Andrews, G., Birney, D., Halford, G. S. (2006). Relational processing and working memory capacity in comprehension of relative clause sentences. Memory Cognition, 34, 1325— 1340.

Barrouillet, P., Bernardin, S., Portrat, S., Vergauwe, E., Camos, V. (2007). Time and cognitive load in working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33, 570—585. http:/ldoi.org/cm22dw

Barrouillet, P., Portrat, S., Camos, V. (2011). On the law relating processing to storage in working memory. Psychological Review, 118, 17 5—192. http://doi.org/bq7rsv

Beckman, J. F. (2010). Taming beast of burden On some issues with the conceptualisation and operationalisation of cognitive load. Learning and Instruction, 20, 250—264. http:/ldoi.org/dmczgh

Binder, K. S., Morris, R. K. (2011). An eye-movement analysis of ambiguity resolution: Beyond meaning access. Discourse Processes, 48, 305-330. http:/ldoi.org/cq35kp

Boland, J. E. (2004). Linking eye movements to sentence comprehension in reading and listening. In M. Carreiras C. Clifton (Eds), The on-line study of sentence comprehension:

Eyetracking, ERP, and beyond (pp. 51—7 6). New York: Psychology Press. Boland, J. E., Blodgett, A. (2002). Eye movement as measure of syntactic and semantic incongruity in unambiguous sentences. Unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan.

Braze, D., Shankweiler, D., Ni, W., Palumbo, L. C. (2002). Readers’ eye movements distinguish anomalies of form and content. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 31, 25—44.

Caillies, S., Declercq, C. (2011). Kill the song—steal the show: What does distinguish predicative metaphors from decomposable idioms? Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 40, 205—223. http:/ldoi.org/ck8fqg

Cappelletti, M., Fregni, F., Shapiro, K., Pascual-Leone, A., Caramazza, A. (2008). Processing nouns and verbs in the left frontal cortex: transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 07—720.

Clifton, C., Staub, A., Rayner, K. (2007). Eye movements in reading words and sentences. In R. P. G. Van Gompel, M. H. Fischer, W. S. Murray, R. L. Hill (Eds), Eye movements: window on mind and brain (pp. 341—371). Oxford: Elsevier.

Conway, A. R. A., Jarrold, C., Kane, M. J., Miyake, A., Towse, J. N. (2007). Variation in working memory: An introduction. In A. R. A. Conway, C. Jarrold, M. J. Kane, A. Miyake, J. N. Towse (Eds), Variation in working memory (pp. 3-17). New York: Oxford University Press.

Conway. A. R. A., Kane, M. J., Bunting, M. F., Hambrick, D. Z., Wilhelm, O., Engle, R. W. (2005). Working memory span tasks: methodological review and user’s guide. Psychonomic Bulletin Review, 12, 769—786.

Cook, A. E., Colbert-Getz, J., Kircher, J. C. (2013). Number-of—features effects during reading: Evidence from eye movements. Discourse Processes, 50, 210—225. http:/ldoi.org/5jn

Daneman, M., Carpenter, P. A. (1980). Individual differences in working memory and reading. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 19, 450—466. http://doi.org/fk6kpz

Daneman, M., Hannon, B. (2007). What do working memory span tasks like reading span really measure? In N. Osaka, R. H. Logie, M. D’Esposito (Eds.), The cognitive neuroscience of working memory (pp. 21—42). New York: Oxford University Press.

Daneman, M., Merikle, P. M. (1996). Working memory and language comprehension: Metaanalysis. Psychonomic Bulletin Review, 3, 422—433.

Duff, S. C., Logie, R. H. (2001). Processing and storage in working memory span. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54A, 31—48. http://doi.0rg/cf35mw

Dussias, P. E. (2010). Uses of eye-tracking data in second language sentence processing research. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 30, 149—166. http:/ldoi.org/bwpk82

Dussias, P. E., Pinar, P. (2010). Effects of reading span and plausibility in the reanalysis of wh-gaps by Chinese-English second language speakers. Second Language Research, 26, 443—472. http://doi.org/dbnqhs

Dussias, P. E., Sagarra, N. (2007). The effect of exposure on syntactic parsing in Spanish— English bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 10, 101—116. http://doi.org/fcs9h5

Engle, R. W., Cantor, ., Carullo, J. J. (1992). Individual differences in working memory and comprehension: test of four hypotheses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 18, 972—992.

Engle, R. W., Kane M. ., Tuholski S. W. (1999). Individual differences in working memory capacity and what they tell us about controlled attention, general fluid intelligence, and functions of the prefrontal cortex. In A. Miyake P. Shah (Eds), Models of working memory: Mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control (pp. 102—134). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ericsson, K. A., Kintsch, W. (1995). Long-term working memory. Psychological Review, 102, 211—245.

Felser, C., Cunnings, I. (2012). Processing reflexives in English as second language: The timing of structural and discourse-level constraints. Applied Psycholinguistics, 33, 571—603. http:/ldoi.org/fch5nv

Foucart, A., Frenck-Mestre, C. (2012). Can late L2 learners acquire new grammatical features? Evidence from ERPs and eye-tracking. Journal of Memory and Language, 66, 226—248. http://doi.org/5jp

Frenck-Mestre, C. (2005). Eye-movement recording as tool for studying syntactic processing in second language: review of methodologies and experimental findings. Second Language Research, 21 17 5—198. http://doi.org/b4bv6f

Gentner, D. (1982). Why nouns are learned before verbs: Linguistic relativity versus natural partitioning. In S. Kuczaj (Ed.), Language development: Language, thought and culture (pp. 301—334). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Geva, E., Ryan, E. B. (1993). Linguistic and cognitive correlates of academic skills in first and second languages. Language Learning, 43, 5—42. http:/ldoi.org/bcm3bn

Hoffman, J. E., Subramaniam, B. (1995). The role of visual attention in saccadic eye movements. Perception Psychophysics, 57, 87—795.

Holmqvist, K., Nyström, M., Andersson, R., Dewhurst, R., Jarodzka, H., Van de Weijer, J. (2011). Eye Tracking: comprehensive guide to methods and measures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Juffs, A., Harrington, M. (2011). Aspects of working memory in L2 learning. Language Teaching, 44, 137—166. http://doi.org/bb3nb5

Just, M. A., Carpenter, P. A. (1980). theory of reading: From eye fixations to comprehension. Psychological Review, 87, 329—354.

Just, M. A., Carpenter, P. A. (1992). capacity theory of comprehension: Individual differences in working memory. Psychological Review, .99, 122—149. http://doi.org/c6595h

Kaakinen, J. K., Hyönâ, J. (2007). Strategy use in the reading span test: An analysis of eye movements and reported encoding strategies. Memory, 15, 634—646. http://doi.0rg/cgwcz3

Kane, M. ., Bleckley, M. K., Conway, A. R. A., Engle, R. W. (2001). controlled-attention view of working-memory capacity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130, 169- 183. http://doi.org/c6rmmg

Kane, M. ., Conway, A. R. A., Hambrick, D. Z., Engle, R. W. (2007). Variation in working memory capacity as variation in executive attention and control. In A. R. A. Conway, C.

Jarrold, M. J. Kane, A. Miyake, J. N. Towse (Eds), Variation in working memory (pp. 21— 48). New York: Oxford University Press.

Kane, M. J., Hambrick, D. Z., Tuholski, S. W., Wilhelm, 0., Payne, T. W., Engle, R. W. (2004). The generality of working memory capacity: latent-variable approach to verbal and visuospatial memory span and reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 189—217.http:/ldoi.org/cntzrs

Kaushanskaya, M., Marian, V. (2007). Non-target language recognition and interference in bilinguals: Evidence from eye tracking and picture naming. Language Learning, 57, 119- 163. http://doi.org/cfdqu

Keating, G. D. (2009). Sensitivity to violations of gender agreement in native and nonnative Spanish: An eye-movement investigation. Language Learning, 5.9, 503-535. http://doi.org/b8fqu

Kintsch, W. (1998). Comprehension: paradigm for cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Koda, K. (2005). Insights into second language reading: cross-linguistic approach. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Mitchell, D. C. (2004). On-line methods in language processing: Introduction and historical review. In M. Carreiras C. Clifton (Eds), The on-line study of sentence comprehension: Eyetraching, ERP, and beyond (pp. 15—32). New York: Psychology Press.

Mitchell, D. C., Green, D. W. (1978). The effects of context and content on immediate processing in reading. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 30, 609—636.

Miyake, A., Friedman, N. P. (1998). Individual differences in second language proficiency: Working memory as language aptitude. In A. F. Healy L. E. Bourne (Eds), Foreign language learning: Psycholinguistic studies on training and retention (pp. 339—364). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Ni, W., Fodor, J. D., Crain, S., Shankweiler, D. (1998). Anomaly detection: Eye movement patterns. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 27, 515—539.

Omaki, A., Schulz, B. (2011). Filler-gap dependencies and island contraints in secondlanguage sentence processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 33, 563—588. http:/ldoi.org/bhcqwx

Osaka, M., Osaka, N. (1992). Language-independent working memory as measured by Japanese and English reading span tests. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 30, 287—289.

Osaka, M., Osaka, N., Groner, R. (1993). Language-independent working memory: Evidence from German and French reading span tests. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 31, 117— 118.

Pickering, M. J., Frisson, S., McElree, B., Traxler, M. J. (2004). Eye movements and semantic composition. In M. Carreiras C. Clifton (Eds), The on-line study of sentence comprehension: Eyetracking, ERP, and beyond (pp. 33-50). New York: Psychology Press.

Rayner, K. (2009). Eye movements and attention in reading, scene perception, and visual search. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 1457-1506. http://doi.org/d4pf7r

Rayner, K., Pollatsek, A. (1989). The psychology of reading. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Rayner, K., Sereno, S. C. (1994). Eye movements in reading: Psycholinguistic studies. In M.

A. Gernsbacher (Ed.), Handbook of psycholinguistics (pp. 57—82). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Rayner, K., Juhasz, B., Ashby, J., Clifton, C. (2003). Inhibition of saccade return in reading. Vision Research, 43, 1027-1034. http://doi.0rg/c67ghm

Rayner, K., Warren, T., Juhasz, B. J., Liversedge, S. P. (2004). The effect of plausibility on eye movements in reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 30, 1290-1301.

Roberts, L. (2010). Parsing the L2 input, an overview: Investigating L2 learners’ processing of syntactic ambiguities and dependencies in real-time comprehension. In G. D. Veronique (Ed), Language, interaction and acquisition [Special issue], (pp. 189—205). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Roberts, L. (2012). Psycholinguistic techniques and resources in second language acquisition research. Second Language Research, 28, 113—127. http://doi.org/fxz80k

Roberts, L., Siyanova-Chanturia, A. (2013). Using eye-tracking to investigate topics in L2 acquisition and L2 processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 213—235.

Roberts, L., Gullberg, M., Indefrey, P. (2008). Online pronoun resolution in L2 discourse: L1 influence and general learner effects. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30, 333—357.

Sagarra, N., Ellis, N. C. (2013). From seeing adverbs to seeing verbal morphology. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 261-290.

Sanchez, C. A., Wiley, J., Miura, T. K., Colflesh, G. J. H., Ricks, T. R., Jensen, M. S.,

Conway, A. R. A. (2010). Assessing working memory capacity in non-native language. Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 488—493.

Schneider, W., Eschman, A., Zuccolotto, A. (2002). E-prime reference guide. Pittsburgh, PA: Psychology Software Tools Inc.

Seigneuric, A., Ehrlich, M., Oakhill, J. V., Yuill, N. M. (2000). Working memory resources and children’s reading comprehension. Reading and Writing, 13, 81-103.

Service, E., Simola, M., Metsanheimoi, O., Maury, S. (2002). Bilingual working memory span is affected by language skill. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 14, 383—407.

Siyanova-Chanturia, A., Conklin, K., Schmitt, N. (2011). Adding more fuel to the fire: An eye-tracking study of idiom processing by native and non-native speakers. Second Language Research, 27, 251-272. http://doi.0rg/bspr64

Spivey, M., Richardson, D., Dale, R. (2009). The movement of eye and hand as window into language and cognition. In E. Morsella, J. A. Bargh, P. M. Gollwitzer (Eds). Oxford handbook of human action (pp. 225—249). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Staub, A., Rayner, K., Pollatsek, A., Hyona, J., Majewski, H. (2007). The timecourse of plausibility effects on eye movements in reading: Evidence from noun—noun compounds. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33, 1162—1169. http:/ldoi.org/cqppsd

Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty and instructional design. Learning and Instruction, 4, 295—312. http://doi.0rg/dhh7hs

Towse, J. N., Hitch, G. J. (1995). Is there relationship between task demand and storage space in tests of working memory capacity? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 48, 108—124. http:/ldoi.org/b8m625

Towse, J. N., Hitch, G. J., Hutton, U. (2002). On the nature of the relationship between processing activity and item retention in children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 82, 156—184.

Towse, J. N., Hitch, G. J., Hutton, U. (2000). On the interpretation of working memory span in adults. Memory and Cognition, 28, 341—348.

Traxler, M. J. (2012). Introduction to psycholinguistics. Chichester, West Sussex: WileyBlackwell. Traxler, M. J., Pickering, M. J., Clifton, C. (1998). Adjunct attachment is not form of lexical ambiguity resolution. Journal of Memory and Language, 39, 558—592.

Turner, M. L., Engle, R. W. (1989). ls working memory capacity task dependent? Journal of Memory and Language, 28, 127—154.

Van den Noort, M. W. M. L., Bosch, P., Hugdahl, K. (2006). Foreign language proficiency and working memory capacity. European Psychologist, 289—296. http://d0i.0rg/b486r4

Van Gompel, R. P. G., Fischer, M. H., Murray, W. S., Hill, R. L. (2007). Eye movement research: An overview of current and past developments. In R. P. G. van Gompel, M. H.

Fischer, W. S. Murray, R. L. Hill (Eds), Eye movements: window on mind and brain (pp. 1—28). Oxford: Elsevier.

Walter, C. (2004). Transfer of reading comprehension skills to L2 is linked to mental representations of text and to L2 working memory. Applied Linguistics, 25, 315—339. http:/ldoi.org/fnj6wz

Whitford, V., Titone, D. (2012). Second-language experience modulates first- and secondlanguage word frequency effects: Evidence from eye movement measures of natural paragraph reading. Psychonomic Bulletin Review, 1.9, 3—80. http:/ldoi.0rg/c948jp

Winke, P., Gass, S., Sydorenko, T. (2013). Factors influencing the use of captions by foreign language learners: An eye-tracking study. The Modern Language Journal, .97, 254—275. http://doi.org/5jq

Winke, P., Godfroid, A., Gass, S. M. (2013). Introduction to the special issue: Eye movement recordings in second language research. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 205— 212. http://doi.0rg/5jr

Witzel, J., Witzel, N., Nicol, J. (2012). Deeper than shallow: Evidence for structure-based parsing biases in second-language sentence processing. Applied Psycholinguistics, 33, 419— 456. http:/ldoi.org/d8qjhc

Kaynak Göster