Binocular Coordination During Reading and Non-Reading Tasks

School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.76). 10/2008; 134(5):742-63. DOI: 10.1037/a0012979
Source: PubMed


The goal of this review is to evaluate the literature on binocular coordination during reading and non-reading tasks in adult, child, and dyslexic populations. The review begins with a description of the basic characteristics of eye movements during reading. Then, reading and non-reading studies investigating binocular coordination are evaluated. Areas of future research in the field are identified and discussed. Finally, some general conclusions are made regarding binocular coordination. The review demonstrates that findings from traditionally independent areas of research are largely consistent and complementary. Throughout the review, theoretical and methodological commonalities are identified and clarified in order to advance current understanding of this fundamental aspect of human visual processing.

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Available from: Julie A Kirkby
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    • "Similar results were reported for adult German-speaking dyslexics[22]. These findings are in contrast with those on English-speaking dyslexics, whose eye movement patterns typically showed prolonged fixation durations and substantially higher numbers of regressions (for reviews, see[1,30]). As mentioned above, a large number of studies carried out in regular orthographies compared eye movements of dyslexic and typical readers. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past decades, the relation between reading skills and eye movement behavior has been well documented in English-speaking cohorts. As English and German differ substantially with regard to orthographic complexity (i.e. grapheme-phoneme correspondence), we aimed to delineate specific characteristics of how reading speed and reading comprehension interact with eye movements in typically developing German-speaking (Austrian) adolescents. Eye movements of 22 participants (14 females; mean age = 13;6 years;months) were tracked while they were performing three tasks, namely silently reading words, texts, and pseudowords. Their reading skills were determined by means of a standardized German reading speed and reading comprehension assessment (Lesegeschwindigkeits- und -verständnistest für Klassen 6-12). We found that (a) reading skills were associated with various eye movement parameters in each of the three reading tasks; (b) better reading skills were associated with an increased efficiency of eye movements, but were primarily linked to spatial reading parameters, such as the number of fixations per word, the total number of saccades and saccadic amplitudes; (c) reading speed was a more reliable predictor for eye movement parameters than reading comprehension; (d) eye movements were highly correlated across reading tasks, which indicates consistent reading performances. Contrary to findings in English-speaking cohorts, the reading skills neither consistently correlated with temporal eye movement parameters nor with the number or percentage of regressions made while performing any of the three reading tasks. These results indicate that, although reading skills are associated with eye movement patterns irrespective of language, the temporal and spatial characteristics of this association may vary with orthographic consistency.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · PLoS ONE
    • "Similar results have been observed in older adults (Rayner et al., 2011); that is to say, they did not need more time for visual processing than young adults. Children also show striking similarities to adults in binocular coordination, although there are also some differences (Blythe et al., 2006; see Kirkby, Webster, Blythe, & Liversedge, 2008, for a review). Taken together, children and adults behave very similarly with respect to where to move the eyes in text and how the encoding of visual information takes place. "
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    ABSTRACT: Extending our understanding of the interplay between visual and cognitive processes during reading is essential to understand how reading develops and changes across the lifespan. Monitoring readers' eye movements provides a fine-grained online protocol of the reading process as it evolves over time, but until recently eye movements have rarely been collected for young developing and ageing people. Developmental eye-tracking constitutes an emerging and innovative field that addresses various theoretical questions related to changes in the process of reading across the lifespan and the mechanisms that drive intra-individual trajectories and create inter-individual differences among readers. The aim of this editorial is to briefly summarise the current state of the field and to outline which questions are currently being investigated and presented in this Special Issue.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Cognitive Psychology
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    • "To summarise, during reading, the visual system is primarily faced with horizontal disparities, which might be the reason why research in written language processing has focused mainly on horizontal binocular coordination (Blythe, Liversedge, & Findlay, 2010; see Kirkby et al., 2008 for review). Indeed, few studies so far have systematically investigated misalignments in reading in other dimensions, a limitation to the comprehensive understanding of binocular coordination that the current work aimed to address. "
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    ABSTRACT: Humans typically make use of both eyes during reading, which necessitates precise binocular coordination in order to achieve a unified perceptual representation of written text. A number of studies have explored the magnitude and effects of naturally occurring and induced horizontal fixation disparity during reading and non-reading tasks. However, the literature concerning the processing of disparities in different dimensions, particularly in the context of reading, is considerably limited. We therefore investigated vertical vergence in response to stereoscopically presented linguistic stimuli with varying levels of vertical offset. A lexical decision task was used to explore the ability of participants to fuse binocular image disparity in the vertical direction during word identification. Additionally, a lexical frequency manipulation explored the potential interplay between visual fusion processes and linguistic processes. Results indicated that no significant motor fusional responses were made in the vertical dimension (all p-values > .11), though that did not hinder successful lexical identification. In contrast, horizontal vergence movements were consistently observed on all fixations in the absence of a horizontal disparity manipulation. These findings add to the growing understanding of binocularity and its role in written language processing, and fit neatly with previous literature regarding binocular coordination in non-reading tasks.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Vision Research
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