Francesco Vespignani

Francesco Vespignani

Francesco Vespignani
Italy
francesco.vespignani@unitn.it
WG Member – WG3
Position Paper

In my research filed we usually present subjects with on a PC monitor some textoid written by experimenters with a word by word (or sentence by sentence) procedure while we measure behavioral (e.g. reaction times, eye movements) or physiological (e.g. ERPs) indexes. This is done with the strong assumption that basic mechanisms of language comprehension are rather independent from the nature of the text and the way it is presented. I personally think that our discipline is mature to critically re-think these assumptions. For this reason I’m really interested in exploring in depth the following variables: nature of the text (literary/fictional/emotional vs scientific/journalist texts), individual attitudes toward different types of written text, the medium (paper written, electronic media, spoken texts). In particular I’m interested in the methodological challenges that these goals need to be faced. For example, traditional ERPs and eye tracking methods can not be easily applied to paper reading situations while other less time sensitive methods such as variation of EEG power in different frequency bands or peripheral indexes such as earth rate or skin conductance may be more easily adapted to very different real world reading situations. For these kind of measures, not necessary sensitive to processes time locked to single words but sensitive to processes that tend to develop in longer time intervals the more interesting psychological phenomena are probably he experiential and emotional ones.

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