Avaliação da Atenção, Percepção e Processamento Visual das Palavras

Análise Experimental de Textos Manuscritos e Impressos mediante a Tecnologia Eye-Tracking desde do Enfoque do Processamento de Informação. Projecto de Investigação 

AbstractText reading and understanding includes several interrelated and interdependent cognitive processes. During the reading process, the recognition and interpretation of written or printed words are not sufficient for the construction of the global meaning of the text. Global understanding of the text requires cognitive processes such as the ability to make inferences, general language skills and memory skills which together offer the construction of macro-structural representation of the text. Considering the various processes involved in skilled and motivated reading, this research aims:

  • To know the visual processing of words of printed

and manuscripts texts;

  • To check the existence of a visual pattern based on fixations and eye movements related to the paths provided in models of dualroute reading; and,
  • To investigate the possible relationships of fixations/eye movements and reading time with the understanding of printed and manuscript texts.

Thus, within the paradigm of information processing, the aim is to contribute to the advancement of theoretical knowledge and reading assessment of ancient texts with contemporary eyes.

 

Index Terms ¾ Text reading, visual processing of words, fixations and eye movements, printed and manuscript texts.

 

 

Introduction

Reading is an intellectual, emotional, educational, and cognitive phenomenon. Cognitive psychology is one of the paradigms proven in the approach to reading as multivariate phenomenon. Many studies have been carried out on the perception and processing of word reading. In Cognitive Psychology, the mental processes involved in the production and comprehension of the written language are studied separately since they involve different cognitive processes. Reading is a process that begins with visual information and ends up with the sound dimension of that human activity. In this perspective, reading is a complex exercise, consisting of multiple interdependent processes such as the recognition of words and the understanding of the written message [2] e [16]. The recognition of written or printed words is the first process involved in reading the graphic input, also known as mental access to personal lexicon [16].

 

In the context of cognitive psychology, the mental processes that allow the reader to attend, perceive process, understand and pronounce written words are explained through the paradigm of information processing [18]. Thus, in this territory, and within the models of dual-route, reading can be a direct visual process (lexical route) or a process of phonological mediation (phonological route) [6] e [7]. Both the lexical and the phonological route begin with perception and visual processing of the alphabet, and the position of each letter in the word and it’s grouping a vital role in reading and understanding the words.

 

The skilled and motivated reader routinely uses the two processing paths in reading words [12]. Despite the phonological path is not the focus of this research, the reading process through phonological awareness is affected significantly by the number of letters contained in the words. In reading through lexical path, the representation of known words are stored in long-term memory (semantic memory – depository of all knowledge about the meanings of words known), whose representations are activated by visual presentation of the word. Individuals who use only the lexical path to read have little or no difficulties in familiar words, but they have serious difficulties with the words missing from semantic memory. That is, familiar words are identified with greater speed and accuracy (frequency effect) than the words with little familiarity or unknown [6].

When approaching Information Processing in Cognitive Psychology, the evaluation of the reading process demands the implementation of procedures that allow for the determination of the operational functioning of the reader, and the encoding manner of units of meaning in the cognitive structure of the subject. Thus, a classical procedure is the presentation of a list of words that vary in linguistic properties as well as the frequency of the word, the regulatory of the grapheme-phoneme correspondence, concreteness, extension, lexacality and grammatical class. Both the linguistic features of the stimulus and the level of competence of the reader determine the type of methodology in the reading activity [19] e [14]. Therefore, we verify the importance of both methodologies in the reading process. The phonological view is a productive manner of semantic memories, for when the reader encounters a certain word for the first time, the phonological view produces an association between the spelling representation and its semantic representation [1].

 

In reading, the identification of the words is a conditio sine qua non, even though it is not sufficient [1], since the reading activity draws on cognitive skills, such as knowledge of the vocabulary and syntax, the formulation of inferences, amongst others [2]. Thereby, when a reader is proficient, there is the automatic acknowledgement, processing and comprehension of the words in a rapid and precise manner [1], [12] e [17]. So, we can state that there is a direct relation between the identification of the words and the ability of cognitive development from the syntactic and semantic analysis of the constituents elements of the sentence(s) [12]. Although the automatic processing of words is important, in the comprehension of a text it is necessary to encompass knowledge and strategies that go beyond the mere combination of individual lexical meanings. Under the mental representation of the contents of the messages [9] e [26], propose the Model of the Comprehension of Texts whereby, due to the limitations of short-term memory, the processing of text is made in cycles that correspondence approximately to a sentence. During these processing cycles, a more generalized structure of meaning – the macrostructure – is extracted from the propositions of the original text and kept in the episodic memory. In other words, each clause is a microstructure, whose next cycle of processing will alter the previous one, resulting in the gradual construction of the global meaning of the text (macrostructure). The concept of macrostructure may be understood as a certain organization of meanings that represent the essential features of a text. That is, comprehension may be seen as a process that permits the formulation of the macrostructure of a text from its microstructures. In the processing and deterrence of the textual information, the macro propositions have a larger possibility of being remembered and included in summaries [8].

 

With the objective of achieving the defined objectives in the abstract of this Project, we intend to perform a set of vision testing (eye tracking), that will let us understand the visual and mental activity of the participating subjects. In the past, mental activities were usually studied by applying the techniques of survey or direct observation. The survey, as a tool, hardly collects data simultaneously with the occurrence of phenomena, and what it measures it is not the attention or the acquisition of information in itself, but the cognitive effect generated by the processing of information. Moreover, parts of the process may not be available in a conscious way and therefore they cannot be recorded or analyzed. On the other hand, direct observation of individual behavior has some additional potential if contrasted with survey, in the sense that the method or technique may be applied simultaneously with the process of information acquisition. However, there is a major flaw because only a small part of the acquired information will be expressed in the observable behavior. Therefore, attention and information processing should be studied by an eye tracker, instrument for tracking and discrimination of movements, fixations and eye openings in the area of observation, thus a current and reliable technology to measure the subject’s perceptual response [24]. Generally, eye trackers monitor the reflection of infrared rays emission of the ocular surface. This technique allows with high reliability the definition of a point in an area of observation, whose clearance is achieved by analysis of 30 images per second, recorded by a camera sensitive to infrared rays. Thus, the image processing software obtains a coordinate of the subject gaze in the area of observation. In all recent eye tracking studies, the basic metrics for the analysis of attention and information processing have been:  the order of eye movements, the number and duration of visual fixations. The order reflects, individually, different ways of information processing since there are no stable and regular visual patterns [25].

 

Plan and Methods

In the last 10 years of research with eye tracking technology, we have seen some scientific ferment in different fields. In this context, the visual processing of words is an area of high scientific interest. It is necessary to invest effort to understand the reader´s relationship with the printed and manuscript texts as well as the definition of the visual patterns of these information relationships. Therefore, our project has the following research question: Is there an ocular specific and differentiated relationship between the manuscript and the printed texts? Essentially, our problem is related with the optimization of transmission and decoding of messages, and, therefore, we present the following statement which makes the hypothesis of this research: A differentiated visual relation exists between manuscript and printed texts. The Cognitive Model of Dual-Route is visible when we analyses gazes and eye movements, allowing the generation of visual patterns in relation to the different texts under assessment.

 

The research will implement an experimental methodology. Initially, and after the collection, consultation and drafting of the state of the art on all topics related to the subject of study, we intend to observe and measure the visual behavior of readers of the texts under assessment. The experimental study of visual behavior will be held at the Department of Literature, Arts and Communication, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, with a non-probability sample of 40 subjects (10 subjects per independent group x 2 manuscript texts x 2 printed texts). For the accomplishment of the experimental study, we select a Portuguese text of Fernando Pessoa in different types and font sizes:

 

 

PRINTED TEXTS

FIRST PRINTED TEXT IN TIMES NEW ROMAN FONT WITH FONT SIZE 12. Times New Roman is a serif typeface created by Victor Lardent and commissioned by the British newspaper The Times in 1931.

Sempre é preciso saber quando uma etapa chega ao final. Se insistirmos em permanecer nela mais do que o tempo necessário, perdemos a alegria e o sentido das outras etapas que precisamos viver. Encerrando ciclos, fechando portas, terminando capítulos. Não importa o nome que damos, o que importa é deixar no passado os momentos que já se acabaram. As coisas passam, e o melhor que fazemos é deixar que elas possam ir embora. Deixar ir embora. Soltar. Desprender-se. Ninguém está jogando nesta vida com cartas marcadas, portanto às vezes ganhamos, e às vezes perdemos. Antes de começar um capítulo novo, é preciso terminar o antigo: diga a si mesmo que o que passou, jamais voltará. Lembre-se de que houve uma época em que podia viver sem aquilo – nada é insubstituível, um hábito não é uma necessidade. Encerrando ciclos. Não por causa do orgulho, por incapacidade, ou por soberba, mas porque simplesmente aquilo já não se encaixa mais na sua vida. Feche a porta, mude o disco, limpe a casa, sacuda a poeira.

Fernando Pessoa

SECOND PRINTED TEXT IN TIMES NEW ROMAN FONT WITH FONT SIZE 14.

Sempre é preciso saber quando uma etapa chega ao final. Se insistirmos em perma-necer nela mais do que o tempo necessário, perdemos a alegria e o sentido das outras etapas que precisamos viver. Encerrando ciclos, fechando portas, terminando capí-tulos. Não importa o nome que damos, o que importa é deixar no passado os mo-mentos que já se acabaram. As coisas passam, e o melhor que fazemos é deixar que elas possam ir embora. Deixar ir embora. Soltar. Desprender-se. Ninguém está jogando nesta vida com cartas marcadas, portanto às vezes ganhamos, e às vezes perdemos. Antes de começar um capítulo novo, é preciso terminar o antigo: diga a si mesmo que o que passou, jamais voltará. Lembre-se de que houve uma época em que podia viver sem aquilo – nada é insubstituível, um hábito não é uma necessidade. Encerrando ciclos. Não por causa do orgulho, por incapacidade, ou por soberba, mas porque simplesmente aquilo já não se encaixa mais na sua vida. Feche a porta, mude o disco, limpe a casa, sacuda a poeira.

Fernando Pessoa

 

MANUSCRIPT TEXTS

FIRST MANUSCRIPT TEXT IN LUCIDA HANDWRITING FONT WITH FONT SIZE 12.

Sempre é preciso saber quando uma etapa chega ao final. Se insistirmos em permanecer nela mais do que o tempo necessário, perdemos a alegria e o sentido das outras etapas que precisamos viver. Encerrando ciclos, fechando portas, terminando capí-tulos. Não importa o nome que damos, o que importa é deixar no passado os momentos que já se acabaram. As coisas passam, e o melhor que fazemos é deixar que elas possam ir embora. Deixar ir embora. Soltar. Desprender-se. Nin-guém está jogando nesta vida com cartas marcadas, portanto às vezes ganhamos, e às vezes perdemos. Antes de começar um capítulo novo, é preciso terminar o antigo: diga a si mesmo que o que passou, jamais voltará. Lembre-se de que houve uma época em que podia viver sem aquilo – nada é insubstituível, um hábito não é uma necessidade. Encerrando ciclos. Não por causa do orgulho, por incapacidade, ou por soberba, mas porque simplesmente aquilo já não se encaixa mais na sua vida. Feche a porta, mude o disco, limpe a casa, sacuda a poeira.

Fernando Pessoa

 

FIRST MANUSCRIPT TEXT IN LUCIDA HANDWRITING FONT WITH FONT SIZE 14.

Sempre é preciso saber quando uma etapa chega ao final. Se insistirmos em permanecer nela mais do que o tempo necessário, perdemos a alegria e o sentido das outras etapas que precisa-mos viver. Encerrando ciclos, fechando portas, terminando capítulos. Não importa o nome que damos, o que importa é deixar no passado os momentos que já se acabaram. As coisas passam, e o melhor que fazemos é deixar que elas possam ir embora. Deixar ir embora. Soltar. Desprender-se. Ninguém está jogando nesta vida com cartas marcadas, portanto às vezes ganhamos, e às vezes per-demos. Antes de começar um capítulo novo, é preciso termi-nar o antigo: diga a si mesmo que o que passou, jamais volta-rá. Lembre-se de que houve uma época em que podia viver sem aquilo – nada é insubsti-tuível, um hábito não é uma necessidade. Encerrando ciclos. Não por causa do orgulho, por incapacidade, ou por soberba, mas porque simplesmente aqui-lo já não se encaixa mais na sua vida. Feche a porta, mude o disco, limpe a casa, sacuda a poeira.

Fernando Pessoa

 

An Eye Tracker from Tobii Technology (mod. T60), world leader in solutions and systems for eye tracking, will be used to carry out the observations and measurements. The system has a 17-inch TFT screen suitable for the analysis of stimuli through the monitor whose calibration is simple and stable. The different texts under assessment will be displayed in a graphic resolution of 1024×768 pixels with a color depth of 16 bits. At the end of each observation session, participants will undergo a test for evaluating the information processing in order to ascertain whether there is a relationship between visual attention and information processed by the subject. After the exploration and observation of the different texts (manuscript and printed), we want to study the effects at the level of attention and perception in information processing and acquired knowledge.

 

Bibliography

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AUTHOR

Galvão dos Santos Meirinhos

Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. gsm@utad.pt

gsm

Licenciado em Marketing, licenciado em Publicidade e Relações Públicas, Mestre e Doutor em Ciências da Comunicação pela Universidade Autónoma de Barcelona. Desenvolveu, também, o seu percurso profissional no mundo das empresas, sendo, entre 2004 e 2007, diretor de comunicação da DELAUBE SARL, empresa especializada no desenvolvimento de projetos imobiliários em França.

Desde 2009, é diretor dos ciclos de estudos em ciências da comunicação. Em 2011, passou a ser representante da UTAD no Centro de Estudos e Investigação de Segurança e Defesa de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. Já em 2012, iniciou os seus trabalhos de pós-doutoramento na área da eficácia comunicativa na Universidade de Vigo.

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