Institute for Language Sciences Labs


Self-paced Reading with Moving Window


  • Boilerplate experiment (default)
  • Author(s): Theo Veenker
  • Download link
  • Modules:


Description: Purpose of this experiment is to measure word or segment reading times in sentences, using a self-paced word/segment revealing mechanism. Participant’s task is to read sentences which are presented in a segment-by-segment fashion. Participant reveals next segment by hitting a button. RT is measured from the presentation of a segment to button- press. Comprehension questions are implemented. Self-paced. Output: RT per segment.

This particular SPR implementation uses a moving window: For each segment the text in the segment is displayed at its normal position in the sentence. The words outside the segment window are displayed as underlines. In other words the visual structure of the whole sentence is visible, but only the words in the segment window are readable.

This implementation also has group support.

Related publications

  • Just, M. A., Carpenter, P. A., & Woolley, J. D. 1982. Paradigms and processes in reading comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol 111: 228-238

Installation instructions

To run the experiment you need the Zep experiment control application. At the ILS Labs this is already installed on all systems. To install Zep at home or on your personal laptop go to this link and follow instructions there.

To install this experiment:

  1. Download the experiment from this link.
  2. Extract the .zip-file into a target folder (any location will do).
  3. This will produce an experiment folder under the target folder.
  4. Read the readme that comes with the experiment.
  5. Open the console application (under Windows click windows-terminal.bat, under Linux click and type the following command:zep read_mw
    In this command read_mw represents the name of the experiment you wish to run.


This experiment script comes with absolutely no warranty. It is your responsibility to pilot test the script and analyze the results before using the script for your research. Be sure to know what the adjustable parameters of the script mean and check whether the script presents stimuli and records responses exactly as you want it to. If necessary, ask the author of the script to explain the things you do not yet understand.