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J Vis. 2009 May 29;9(5):31.1-28. doi: 10.1167/9.5.31.

An examination of binocular reading fixations based on sentence corpus data.

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Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


Binocular eye movements of normal adult readers were examined as they read single sentences. Analyses of horizontal and vertical fixation disparities indicated that the most prevalent type of disparate fixation is crossed (i.e., the left eye is located further to the right than the right eye) while the left eye frequently fixates somewhat above the right eye. The Gaussian distribution of the binocular fixation point peaked 2.6 cm in front of the plane of text, reflecting the prevalence of horizontally crossed fixations. Fixation disparity accumulates during the course of successive saccades and fixations within a line of text, but only to an extent that does not compromise single binocular vision. In reading, the version and vergence system interact in a way that is qualitatively similar to what has been observed in simple nonreading tasks. Finally, results presented here render it unlikely that vergence movements in reading aim at realigning the eyes at a given saccade target word.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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