College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sandra Virtue, PhD

Second Advisor

Joseph Mikels, PhD


This study investigates the effects of attentional control on the hemispheric processing of predictive inferences during reading. Participants read texts that were either strongly or weakly constrained towards a predictive inference and performed a lexical decision task to inference-related target words presented to the right or left visual field— hemisphere. Facilitation for strongly constrained predictive inferences was greater than facilitation for weakly constrained predictive inferences in both hemispheres. Readers with high attentional control showed significant facilitation for strongly constrained inferences in the both hemispheres, but only showed significant facilitation for weakly constrained inferences in the left hemisphere. Readers with low attentional control did not show significant facilitation in any of the conditions. These results suggest that readers with high attentional control may have an advantage for generating predictive inferences during reading, a skill which could contribute to improved situation model construction and comprehension compared to readers with low attentional control.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons