Meaning-based attentional guidance as a function of foveal and task-related cognitive loads
López-Pérez, Pedro Javier
Barber, Horacio A.
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Julien Dampuré, Pedro Javier López-Pérez & Horacio A. Barber (2019) Meaning-based attentional guidance as a function of foveal and task-related cognitive loads, Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34:1, 1-12, DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2018.1484149
The depth of parafoveal word processing depends on the amount of cognitive resources available. Whether this principle applies to the parafoveal semantic processing of multiple words remains, however, controversial. This study therefore aimed at testing the impact of the amount of cognitive resources available on the parafoveal semantic processing of words, by manipulating the foveal and task-related cognitive loads. Participants searched for words in displays of three semantically related or unrelated words, one of which was presented in the centre of the screen and two within the parafovea. The nature of the task and the characteristics of the centred word were manipulated to vary respectively the load associated to the task and to the foveal load. Analyses revealed more first saccades toward the parafoveal semantic distractors when both loads were low. These results indicate that fast parafoveal semantic word processing is constrained by the availability of cognitive resources.