Optimal landing position in reading isolated words and continuous text.


During isolated-word reading, within-word eye-movement tactics (i.e., whether the eye makes one or more fixations on the word) depend strongly on the eye's first fixation position in the word; there exists an optimal landing position where the probability of having to refixate the word is much smaller than when the eye first fixates other parts of the word. The present experiment was designed to test whether the optimal landing position effect still exists during text reading, and to compare the nature and strength of the effect with the effect found for isolated words. The results confirmed the existence of an optimal landing position in both reading conditions, but the effect for words in texts was weaker than it was for isolated words, probably because of the presence of factors such as reading rhythm and linguistic context. However, the effect still existed in text reading; within-word tactics during text reading are dependent on the eye's initial landing position in words. Moreover, individual fixation durations were dependent on within-word tactics. Thus, the initial landing position in words must be taken into account if one wishes to understand eye-movement behavior during text reading. Further results concerned the effects of word length and word frequency in both reading conditions.

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@article{Vitu1990OptimalLP, title={Optimal landing position in reading isolated words and continuous text.}, author={Franqoise Vitu and J. K. O'Regan and M Mittau}, journal={Perception & psychophysics}, year={1990}, volume={47 6}, pages={583-600} }