Armanda Costa

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Armanda Costa
Portugal
armandacosta@letras.ulisboa.pt
MC Member – WG1
Position Paper

As a researcher on psycholinguistics with particular interests in written language processing, I would like to participate in activities concerning the identification of specific reading abilities taking a developmental perspective, and across languages and cultures.

In my research on reading, I have been focused on the interrelation between certain text properties and comprehension. Taking the core concept of linguistic or discursive complexity, in our lab – Psycholinguistics Lab at Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon – we develop experimental research, aiming to identify linguistic processing costs and its effect on comprehension and fluency. Using controlled stimuli or more naturalistic materials (texts from literature or advertising), we evaluate the effect of lexical or syntactic complexity, or the effect of theme familiarity or graphic layout on reading behavior.

We conduct experimental work on reading in adults and children, with typical and atypical development, using behavioral approaches through several experimental techniques such as eye tracking, visual world paradigm, self paced reading or lexical or syntactic priming.

More recently, we developed studies on measures of reading fluency, combining speed and accuracy as usual, but particularly with a particular attention to prosody. Combining eyetracking procedures with acoustic analysis of speech in reading aloud, we attempt to get fluency indicators from silent reading and reading aloud.

Taking into account the specific objectives of this action, I propose to develop and enhance research on reading fluency and comprehension, now with a special attention on effects of reading modality: in paper or screen. Given the composition of my multidisciplinary research team, we have conditions to combine the expertise of graphic design and visual cognition domains to control the interaction text/image, the typographic aspects and the general text layout.

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