The effects of stimulus-driven and goal-directed attentional control on word reading skills among first-grade Chinese children

Sisi LIU, Zhengye Amelia XU, Duo LIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Visual–spatial attention is associated with reading development, but we do not know whether this is primarily driven by the deployment of goal-directed or stimulus-driven attention.
Method: One hundred ninety-four Chinese-speaking first graders completed two visual search tasks, in which they searched for a target among a number of distractor items. In the feature search task, the orientation of the target was different from that of the distractors (i.e., a horizontal line amid vertical lines), whereas in the conjunction search, the target was defined by a combination of orientation and colour (i.e., a red horizontal line among red vertical lines and green horizontal lines). They then completed two reading tasks in addition to morphological awareness, rapid naming, vocabulary, nonverbal intelligence, and verbal working memory tasks.
Results: Accuracy in the conjunction, but not feature, search was positively correlated with Chinese character recognition and reading fluency. Moreover, conjunction search accuracy explained unique variance in character recognition accuracy after controlling for morphological awareness, rapid naming, and vocabulary, as well as age, nonverbal intelligence, and verbal working memory. Additionally, children with good reading skills tended to show smaller decreases in search accuracy with larger set sizes than those with poor reading skills.
Conclusions: The data suggest that reading is associated with goal-directed but not stimulus-driven visual–spatial attention. This non-linguistic ability appears to contribute to reading beyond established reading-related linguistic skills. Copyright © 2022 United Kingdom Literacy Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-121
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Volume46
Issue number1
Early online date20 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Citation

Liu, S., Xu, Z., & Liu, D. (2023). The effects of stimulus-driven and goal-directed attentional control on word reading skills among first-grade Chinese children. Journal of Research in Reading, 46(1), 104-121. doi: 10.1111/1467-9817.12416

Keywords

  • Visual search
  • Feature search
  • Conjunction search
  • Word recognition
  • Word reading fluency

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