Attention demands during reading and the occurrence of brief (express) fixations

Albrecht Werner Inhoff, Richard Topolski, Françoise Vitu, J. Kevin O'Regan

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Eye movements were recorded while subjects read passages of text repeatedly (Experiment 1) and while normal text and strings ofhomogeneous letters were fixated (Experiment 2). Text repetition decreased fixation durations and increased saccade size, presumably because it decreased attention demands. Irrespective ofrepetition, however, no distinct distribution of brief (express) fixations emerged. In Experiment 2, fixation durations were shorter and saccades were larger when strings of homogeneous letters were "read," indicating that this condition decreased attention demands. Again, however, no distinct distribution of express fixations emerged. These findings pose problems for the view that attentional processes determine the occurrence of brief (express) fixation durations in reading. Supplementary analyses of Experiments 1 and 2 suggested that visuospatial processing affected fixation durations, irrespective of linguistic processing demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-823
Number of pages10
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Psychology(all)

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