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ERI-Talk - Francesca Zermiani: "The puzzle of individual differences in resumption during interrupted reading"

  • April 12th, 2024
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April 26th 2024. 12:00h. Onsite session. Language: English.

The puzzle of individual differences in resumption during interrupted reading

Francesca Zermiani

University of Stuttgart (Germany)


Learners frequently face interruptions during reading, necessitating efficient attentional shifts back to the text. Limited data exists on how individual differences impact this resumption process, despite its relevance for understanding cognitive processes and further developing adaptive learning technologies. In this talk, we delve into the exploration of individual differences and their influence on resumption behavior. We introduce the InteRead dataset, comprising gaze data from 50 participants, annotated interruptions, and corresponding resumption lag times. Using this dataset, we analyze the effects of prior knowledge and visuo-spatial memory on resumption lag times. Our findings demonstrate a significant interaction between these individual factors and resumption behavior, emphasizing the importance of individual differences in interrupted reading scenarios. Additionally, we offer insights from our latest data collection, investigating the influence of mental imagery and text features on resumption behavior. With insights from educational technologies and psycholinguistics, our overarching goal is to foster the development of adaptive learning systems tailored to individual needs. Throughout the presentation, we also discuss the challenges encountered during this research, aiming to stimulate interdisciplinary discussions and exchanges.




Francesca Zermiani is a final-year PhD student at the University of Stuttgart (Germany) in the International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems (IMPRS-IS) since February 2021, jointly supervised by Jun.-Prof. Maria Wirzberger and Prof. Andreas Bulling. Francesca holds a Bachelor’s degree in Language Studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) and a Master’s degree in Cognitive Science from Lund University (Sweden). Her research interests include educational technologies, psycholinguistics, eye tracking and attentional processes. Besides, she worked as a research intern within the field of Computational Linguistics. Her current research focuses on investigating individual differences in resumption strategies. In particular, she is interested in developing eye-based techniques to support students in resuming interrupted tasks.