ERIC Number: ED230916
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The Time Course of Visual Information Utilization during Fixations in Reading. Technical Report No. 278.
Blanchard, Harry E.; And Others
A study investigated at what point during eye fixations visual information is used in furthering the reading process. The study identified two aspects of information processing: registration, in which a light pattern on the retina triggers a pattern of neural activity in the visula cortex; and utilization, in which the registered pattern has an effect on the reading comprehension process. Specifically, the study sought to determine when this utilization of information occurs. Sixteen college students read short texts from a cathode ray tube (CRT) as their eye movements were monitored. During selected fixations, the text was briefly masked and reappeared with one word changed. Subjects were often unaware that the word had changed. Sometimes they reported seeing the first word, sometimes the second, sometimes both. When only one word was reported, two factors were found to determine which it was: the length of time it was present during the fixation and the predictability of a word in its context. The results suggested that visual information is used for reading at a crucial period during the fixation, and that this period can occur at different times on different fixations, termed the Variable Utilization Time Principle. The pattern of responses also indicated that the first letter of a word was not utilized before other letters and that letters were not scanned left to right during a fixation. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.