Join the Conversation
Abstracts Due: 4 March 2019
Mechanisms of Reading Comprehension: Contrasting integrative processes vs products
Remediating comprehension difficulties is particularly challenging, in part because of the complexity of the task and the non-specificity of available assessments. This special issue seeks to focus attention on the relationship between the processes involved in integrating information into an evolving meaning representation as the text is read, in real time, as opposed to approaches that rely on querying the product of these processes via answering questions about what was previously encountered. We seek to draw attention to ways in which only querying the products of comprehension processes may miss important deficits associated with the word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence, or text-by-text construction of meaning. In particular, processes related to the construction of, and integration into, a reader's mental model of a text invoke quite different mechanisms and representational forms from those associated with question-answering. For example, post-process question answering may involve retrieving (and/or reconstructing) information from a mental model, remembering source information, invoking world knowledge, and/or general metacognitive strategies related to problem-solving. In contrast, integrative processing requires the immediate coordination of linguistic and non-linguistic processes to retrieve word meanings and interpret syntactic structures as they are encountered, access information at the level of the textbase, and maintain attention and interpretive goals throughout the reading task. Through encouraging investigation of constructive and/or integrative comprehension processes, and specifically examining how these processes differ from those required for after-the-fact assessments, this special issue will draw attention to sources of variation that remain poorly understood, including: parsing of complex syntactic structures, combinatorial semantic relations, word to text integration, and/or invoking critical world knowledge when needed. Further, we encourage submissions that explore the interaction between linguistic and non-linguistic variation (e.g., memory, executive function) which may be uniquely captured via online (process) measures.
We expect that accepted submissions will examine variation in online comprehension processes as indexed by a continuous data source (e.g., word-by-word measures of reading, including eye tracking, neural signals, task-driven mouse clicks). We especially encourage submissions that highlight novel methods of assessing integrative comprehension processes, and investigations into the relationship between these processes and post-processing assessment. A chief goal is to include submissions addressing processing at multiple levels, from words to multiple texts. Some examples of possible topics are listed below:
- Role of eye movements as providing input to comprehension processes;
- Online vs. offline assessments of comprehension, including differences in the mechanisms invoked by each;
- Differential sources of difficulty in oral vs. written comprehension;
- Development of skilled online comprehension processes, including the role of text reading experience
- Role of non-linguistic factors (i.e., attentional control, motivation, mindset) during comprehension vs. during assessment;
- Interactions of linguistic and non-linguistic mechanisms on comprehension;
- Real-time models of how various information sources are coordinated during meaning construction (and individual variation within these models);
- Links between assessments of online comprehension and remediation;
Interested researchers are encouraged to submit an Abstract for consideration. Submitted abstracts may be up to 250 words in length and should follow APA recommendations for content and structure. Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest Associate Editors; a select number of submissions will then be invited to submit a full paper for peer review. Please note that an invitation to submit a full paper does not guarantee acceptance; all papers will be subject to the full peer review process as per any submission to SSR.
Proposed abstracts, including tentative author list, are due March 4, 2019. Lead authors will be contacted with final determination about submissions by March 22, 2019. Full (invited) manuscript submissions will be due July 1, 2019; anticipated publication in January 2021.
Proposed Abstracts should be submitted to the special issue editors (please cc all three):