Reingold and Rayner (2006) showed that the visual contrast of a fixated target word influenced its viewing duration, but not the viewing of the next (posttarget) word in the text that was shown in regular contrast. Configurational target changes, by contrast, influenced target and posttarget viewing. The current study examined whether this effect pattern can be attributed to differential processing of the posttarget word during target viewing. A boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) was used to provide an informative or uninformative posttarget preview and to reveal the word when it was fixated. Consistent with the earlier study, more time was spent viewing the target when its visual contrast was low and its configuration unfamiliar. Critically, target contrast had no effect on the acquisition of useful information from a posttarget preview, but an unfamiliar target configuration diminished the usefulness of an informative posttarget preview. These findings are consistent with Reingold and Rayner's (2006) claim that saccade programming and attention shifting during reading can be controlled by functionally distinct word recognition processes.
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