Eye Movement

Essay by DavidahongUniversity, Bachelor's November 2014

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Eye Movements and Reading

Eye Movements and Reading

A Biopsychosocial Approach to Eye Movement and Reading

David Ahong

Eye movements are controlled by complex motor programs that are influenced both by internal schemas and external cues and consist of fast ballistic saccadic movements, made to objects or features as a means of locating them. As the eye gathers information, it maintains its position for a duration of time, in a fixation. Together these fixations and saccadic eye movements are used to locate and gather information from objects or features of interest from the environment. Land (2009, p. 51) states that " in the time before vision had become domesticated by writing and computers, the primary role of gaze would have been to provide the information needed to carry out tasks for everyday life - hunting, foraging, constructing shelters, cooking and so on" ….. and that even though the role for perceiving our environment was important, of greater importance of eye movements, would have been in the of guidance of action: helping steer the individual though their environment and guiding the body in the execution of actions.

There have been many studies conducted examining eye movements during reading. The average fixation duration in reading is 200-250 ms with a range for normal reading of between 100-500 ms (Raynor 1994). Raynor (1994) also suggests that word length is the primary determinant of where the saccades lands in the text, and that readers tend to fixate about half way between the beginning and the middle of the word. Secondly, he states that fixation duration is believed to reveal something about the cognitive processes associated with the comprehension of that word or segment, with longer fixations being associated with more difficult words.

Avallone, De Stefano, Gambone, and Marcelli (2005) found that in...