My PhD project is closely related to the interests of WG1, since it targets reading behaviour of adults, as modulated by typographic variables. The selection of variables for study is guided by their relevance to the paradigm shift of reflowable typesetting on the internet and reading devices.
Combining psycho- and neurolinguistic methods (eye tracking and EEG) with a background and affiliation in book studies places my research at an interdisciplinary nexus.
Completed experiments so far have shown that adult, experienced readers’ eye movements are slightly, but adversely affected by distended interword spaces in justified typesetting as implemented in digital typography, differing from the (at least potentially) more even typesetting in print.
Further eye tracking research currently investigates monospaced fonts, a vestige of technical constraints which no longer apply. Nevertheless, this class of fonts persists, probably due to distribution on personal computers. They are conspicuously absent from professional print typography, thus making them a distinctly digital phenomenon.
Future research is planned to extend into readers’ attitudes towards the above typographic variables, which touches on WG3’s interests. The relation between the connotative associations which a typographic style may evoke, and the denotative contents of the text, is of particular interest in face of digital typography, where the reader may alter the appearance of text at will.