Modeling eye movements in reading

extensions of the E-Z reader model

Alexander Pollatsek*, Erik D. Reichle, Keith Rayner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

41 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter describes models of eye movements while people read text. All of the models have the core assumption that the primary "engine" that drives the eyes forward on text is the serial identification of words in text. However, the relationship among the identification of a word, the forward movement of attention, and the program to fixate the subsequent word is not completely straightforward. Silent reading is one of the most important skills humans master and it is certainly one of the most frequent complex cognitive acts most adults perform. A powerful tool for understanding reading is examining the pattern of eye movements while people silently read text for meaning. It was believed that little could be learned from eye movements in reading because it was hypothesized that the cognitive acts in reading were too slow to be responsive to the system that was generating eye movements three to four times a second. However, it is now clear that the moment-to-moment pattern of eye movements is responsive to aspects of the meaning of the text-such as the frequency of a word in the language-and therefore cognitive acts-such as recognizing a word-do influence the behavior of the eyes in a moment-to-moment fashion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe mind's eye
Subtitle of host publicationcognitive and applied aspects of eye movement research
EditorsJ. Hyōnā, R. Radach, H. Deubel
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780080518923
ISBN (Print)9780444510204
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

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