Self-Consistent Estimation of Mislocated Fixations during Reading

R. Engbert, A. Nuthmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During reading, we generate saccadic eye movements to move words into the center of the visual field for word processing. However, due to systematic and random errors in the oculomotor system, distributions of within-word landing positions are rather broad and show overlapping tails, which suggests that a fraction of fixations is mislocated and falls on words to the left or right of the selected target word. Here we propose a new procedure for the self-consistent estimation of the likelihood of mislocated fixations in normal reading. Our approach is based on iterative computation of the proportions of several types of oculomotor errors, the underlying probabilities for word-targeting, and corrected distributions of landing positions. We found that the average fraction of mislocated fixations ranges from about 10\% to more than 30\% depending on word length. These results show that fixation probabilities are strongly affected by oculomotor errors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1534
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • eye-movements

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