Reading is a standard day-to-day activity of a modern human being. It includes three components: sensoric (perception of visual stimulus – letters and other characters), motoric (eyes’ movements) and cognitive (attention, memory, and character and word recognition). The reading process requires quick eye movements - saccades, which move the eyes quickly from one text fragment to another. Only the retina’s central part, which contains cones, is capable of recognizing objects (characters). This dictates the necessity of quick eyes’ movements to project each successive text fragment exactly to the retina’s central part. To recognize objects it is necessary to fix the glance and the eye stays static for 100-200 ms. Then follows another saccade and another fixation.
The video-oculographic system determines eye coordinates based on the analysis of the infra-red light reflected from the surface of different parts of the eyeball. It is the position of the darker pupil in the infra-red light that coincides with the eye coordinates.
The research was aimed at studying the effect of the text’s properties on the parameters of eye movements in the process of reading such texts. For this purpose, the testees – students aged 19 to 23 years, were asked to read four text fragments on the monitor screen, their line length being 83, 62, 40 and 30 characters (font: Arial 16) with a single line spacing, and then - four text fragments with the same line length and 1.5 line spacing. All fragments represented an educational text on psychology. The testees were instructed to read the text to the end at an arbitrary speed. In another research the testees were offered text fragments typed in small-size (Arial 9) and large-size (Arial 16) fonts.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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