Bélanger, N.N., & Rayner, K. (2013). Frequency and predictability effects in eye fixations for skilled and less-skilled deaf readers. Visual Cognition, 21(4), 477-497.
The illiteracy rate in the deaf population has been alarmingly high for several decades, despite the fact that deaf children go through the standard stages of schooling. Much research addressing this issue has focused on word-level processes, but in the recent years, little research has focused on sentence-levels processes. Previous research (Fischler, 1985) investigated word integration within context in college-level deaf and hearing readers in a lexical decision task following incomplete sentences with targets that were congruous or incongruous relative to the preceding context; it was found that deaf readers, as a group, were more dependent on contextual information than their hearing counterparts. The present experiment extended Fischler's results and investigated the relationship between frequency, predictability, and reading skill in skilled hearing, skilled deaf, and less-skilled deaf readers. Results suggest that only less-skilled deaf readers, and not all deaf readers, rely more on contextual cues to boost word processing. Additionally, early effects of frequency and predictability were found for all three groups of readers, without any evidence for an interaction between frequency and predictability.