People

Prof. Sarah J. White

Professor

School/Department: Neuroscience, Psychology & Behaviour

Telephone: +44 (0)116 2297181

Email: s.j.white@le.ac.uk

Profile

My research interests centre around eye movement control during reading. I have interests in parafoveal processing, visual word recognition, aging and cross-linguistic differences in reading eye movement behaviour. My current focus is on understanding how reading goals (e.g. skimming for gist) modulate the mechanisms underlying eye movement control and comprehension. I also collaborate on clinical research projects, for example the effects of the eye movement condition nystagmus on reading behaviour.

I am a member of the Vision Sciences research group.

My work has been funded by The Experimental Psychology Society, The Leverhulme Trust, The Royal Society and UKRI ESRC.

I am a member of the Experimental Psychology Society, Fellow of the Psychonomic Society and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I began working at the University of Leicester as a Lecturer in 2006. Before this I completed my BSc Psychology degree, a PhD and a post-doctoral research position at the University of Durham. 

Research

Research overview: As we read we can only view a small number of letters in high visual detail at any one time. We move our eyes to provide a series of visually detailed snapshots of the text that are then integrated together. I am particularly interested in how we process text outside of central vision (parafoveal processing) and the mechanisms underlying what controls the movements of our eyes as we read. The research helps us understand how the visual attention, oculomotor and language systems work together. I am also interested in the flexibility (e.g. effect of reading goals) and development (e.g. older readers) of these mechanisms and how they are affected by clinical conditions (e.g. nystagmus).

For information about our UKRI ESRC funded project “Revealing the implications of reading strategy for reading behaviour and comprehension” please see our project webpage.

See our Vision Sciences research group page to find out more about research on vision, eye movements and reading at the University of Leicester.

Publications

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Selected publications:

AlJassmi, M.A., Warrington, K.L., McGowan, V.A., White, S.J., & Paterson, K.B. (2022). Effects of word predictability on eye movements during Arabic reading. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 84, 10-24.

Zhang, J., Warrington, K.L., Pagan, A., Paterson, K.B., White, S,J., & McGowan, V.M. (2022). Are older adults more risky readers? Evidence from meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 37, 239-259.

Paterson, K. B., McGowan, V. A., Warrington, K. L., Li, L., Li, S., Xie, F., . . . Wang, J. (2020). Effects of normative aging on eye movements during reading. Vision, 14;4(1):7.

Prakash, E., McLean, R.J., White, S.J., Paterson, K.B., Gottlob, I. & Proudlock, F.A. (2019). Individual word reading in infantile nystagmus during sentence reading. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 60, 2226-2236.

Wang, X., Sui, X., & White, S.J. (2019). Searching for a word in Chinese text: Insights from eye movement behaviour. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 31, 145-156.

Warrington, K.L., McGowan, V.A., Paterson, K.B., & White, S.J. (2019). Effects of adult aging on letter position coding in reading: Evidence from eye movements. Psychology and Aging, 34, 598-612.

Warrington, K.L., McGowan, V.A., Paterson, K.B., & White, S.J. (2018). Effects of aging, word frequency and text stimulus quality on reading across the adult lifespan: Evidence from eye movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 44, 1714-1729.

Warrington, K.L., White, S.J., & Paterson, K.B. (2018). Ageing and the misperception of words: Evidence from eye movements during reading. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 75-84.

White, S.J., Drieghe, D., Liversedge, S.P., & Staub, A. (2018). The word frequency effect during sentence reading: A linear or nonlinear effect of log frequency? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 46-55.

White, S.J., Lantz, L.M.T., & Paterson, K.B. (2017). Spontaneous re-reading within sentences: Eye movement control and visual sampling. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43, 395-413.

McGowan, V.A., White, S.J., & Paterson, K.B. (2015). The effects of interword spacing on the eye movements of young and older readers. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 67, 609-621.

White, S.J., Warrington, K.L., McGowan, V.A., & Paterson, K.B. (2015). Eye movements during reading and topic scanning: Effects of word frequency. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41, 233-248.

McGowan, V.A., White, S.J., Jordan, T.R., & Paterson, K.B. (2014). Aging and the use of inter-word spaces during reading: Evidence from eye movements. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 740-747.

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Supervision

 

I am interested in supervising PhD study on topics related to eye movement behaviour during reading. Learn more about how to apply.

Teaching

 

I teach within the School of Psychology.

Press and media

 

For information about our UKRI ESRC funded project “Revealing the implications of reading strategy for reading behaviour and comprehension” please see the project webpage

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