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RESEARCH ARTICLE Pupil Dilation and EEG Alpha Frequency Band Power Reveal Load on Executive Functions for Link-Selection Processes during Text Reading

By Christian Scharinger, Yvonne Kammerer and Peter Gerjets

Abstract

Executive working memory functions play a central role in reading comprehension. In the present research we were interested in additional load imposed on executive functions by link-selection processes during computer-based reading. For obtaining process measures, we used a methodology of concurrent electroencephalographic (EEG) and eye-tracking data recording that allowed us to compare epochs of pure text reading with epochs of hyper-link-like selection processes in an online reading situation. Furthermore, this methodology allowed us to directly compare the two physiological load-measures EEG alpha frequency band power and pupil dilation. We observed increased load on executive functions during hyperlink-like selection processes on both measures in terms of decreased alpha frequency band power and increased pupil dilation. Surprisingly however, the two measures did not correlate. Two additional experiments were conducted that excluded potential perceptual, motor, or structural confounds. In sum, EEG alpha frequency band power and pupil dilation both turned out to be sensitive measures for increased load during hyperlink-like selection processes in online text reading

Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.810.8356
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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