My overarching research question is if and how immersive and aesthetic reading processes are altered by digital reading. Thus, my work will focus on the development and further empirical testing of the neurocognitive poetics model of literary reading (Jacobs, 2011; 2015), as both a comprehensive theoretical guide for many of the E-READ studies, and a qualitative/quantitative prediction tool for neurocognitive experiments
In cooperation with WG2 I would also like to investigate the emotional development of children through language and reading. We have developed both written and auditory versions of the kidBAWL, an adaptation of the Berlin Affective Word List (BAWL) for children (Jacobs et al., 2015). A huge methodological challenge of E-READ I would like to tackle is the problem of how to deal with the higher familiarity of almost all of our subjects with the ‘old’ analogue reading formats. How can we deal with this confound when comparing say print vs. kindle without having the means for year-long longitudinal studies? Taking children as subjects is one approach.
Finally, I intend to familarize/train E-READ members with/in the multiple neurocognitive methods of the D.I.N.E. and the ‘methods must fit the questions’ principle. A striking example is the obvious dilemma that as soon as we try to measure ‘immersion’ on-line with rating methods, we already interfere with it (or kill it entirely), whereas when we measure it post-hoc with subjective methods (after the reading act), memory processes etc. can lead to significant distortions and illusions. Hence, the need for indirect, more objective additional measurements, such as peripheral-physiological (e.g., heart rate, EDA, corrugator activity), oculo- and pupillometric, EEG, fMRI, fNIRS, or TMS, which all have their own costs and benefits, and are difficult, if at all, applicable to studies using (analogue) books as stimuli.