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Shorter Lines Facilitate Reading in Those Who Struggle

Figure 10

Lapses in high level lexical processing rarely cause regression.

There are twice as many horizontal regressions (LEFT) in PAD as in POD. If the mechanism for regression was entirely due to lapses in conceptual understanding, we would expect regressions made horizontally to trade off against regressions made upwards (UP), as margins are made narrow in the POD condition. And yet, this expected tradeoff is not observed. Narrowed columns halve the number of horizontal regressions, but hardly increase the number of regressions upward. This indicates that the mechanism for regression is restricted to the line, and is likely proximal to fixation. (Error bars are +/−1 s.e.)

Figure 10