Reading with a salient optimal viewing-position letter: attentional but no oculomotor capture

Antje Nuthmann, Reinhold Kliegl, Ralf Engbert

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In visual search, both abrupt onsets as well as static singletons have the ability to capture attention (independent of the goals of the observer) and also elicit exogenous (involuntary, stimulus-driven) saccades (Godijn & Theeuwes, 2003). Thus, automatic attentional capture is frequently accompanied by oculomotor capture. We investigated whether it is possible to induce and take advantage of automatic oculomotor capture in single-sentences reading. In an eye-movement experiment, for selected words the optimal landing letter close to the center of the word was marked in red whereas the other letters were presented in black. The red letters were expected to act as salient exogenous stimuli that automatically attract the eyes. Such oculomotor capture should reduce the standard deviation of landing position distributions. Analyses based on fixation durations, landing positions distributions, and refixation probability curves suggested that there was attentional, but no oculomotor capture.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event49. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen (TeaP) - Trier, Germany
Duration: 26 Mar 200728 Mar 2007


Conference49. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen (TeaP)


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