Eye movements of university students with and without reading difficulties during naming speed tasks

Noor Al Dahhan, George K. Georgiou, Rickie Hung, Douglas Munoz, Rauno Parrila, John R. Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Although naming speed (NS) has been shown to predict reading into adulthood and differentiate between adult dyslexics and controls, the question remains why NS is related to reading. To address this question, eye movement methodology was combined with three letter NS tasks (the original letter NS task by Denckla & Rudel, Cortex 10:186-202, 1974, and two more developed by Compton, The Journal of Special Education 37:81-94, 2003, with increased phonological or visual similarity of the letters). Twenty undergraduate students with reading difficulties (RD) and 27 without (NRD) were tested on letter NS tasks (eye movements were recorded during the NS tasks), phonological processing, and reading fluency. The results indicated first that the RD group was slower than the NRD group on all NS tasks with no differences between the NS tasks. In addition, the NRD group had shorter fixation durations, longer saccades, and fewer saccades and fixations than the RD group. Fixation duration and fixation count were significant predictors of reading fluency even after controlling for phonological processing measures. Taken together, these findings suggest that the NS-reading relationship is due to two factors: less able readers require more time to acquire stimulus information during fixation and they make more saccades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-150
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Dyslexia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • adults
  • dyslexia
  • eye movements
  • rapid automatized naming
  • reading fluency


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