Barb Juhasz (Wesleyan) will present “Using eye movements to explore how experience with words in childhood impacts word recognition during college.” in the cognitive bag lunch in Tobin 521B, 12:00-1:25. An abstract follows. All are welcome!
Abstract. The age at which a word is first acquired has been found to affect word recognition in adulthood. Words that are rated as having an early age-of-acquisition (AoA) are processed faster than words rated as having a late AoA in many tasks. However, even words that are learned early in life may differ in how frequently they are encountered during childhood. Frequency trajectory refers to the pattern of frequency exposure across schooling and can be measured by comparing word frequency counts for texts that are relevant for early elementary students with frequency counts for college-level texts. Some words are more frequent in early grades compared to college (e.g. rabbit) while others become more frequent in college-level texts (e.g. brain). Other words maintain a consistently high or low word frequency across grades. In this talk, I will discuss current research projects that explore the time course of AoA and frequency trajectory effects on eye movements during reading in college students. These projects have demonstrated that both the age at which a word is initially acquired and its pattern of frequency exposure during schooling impact word recognition.