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Strategic control in word reading: evidence from speeded responding in the tempo-naming task.
To investigate strategic control over response initiation in word reading, the authors introduce the tempo-naming task. Relative to baseline performance in the standard-naming task, participants were induced to respond with faster latencies, shorter durations, and lower levels of accuracy by instructing them to time response initiation with an experimentally controlled tempo. The tempo response cue attenuated stimulus effects, and as faster tempos reduced latencies, the number of spelling-sound errors remained constant, whereas the number of word, nonword, and articulatory errors increased. To explain these results, the authors propose input gain as a mechanism of control over processing speed. The experimenters sketch how input gain could account for the current results as well as for the results from stimulus-blocking experiments testing the route emphasis and time criterion hypotheses of strategic control.