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Stephanie Jainta, Wolfgang Jaschinski, Arnold J. Wilkins; Periodic letter strokes within a word affect fixation disparity during reading. Journal of Vision 2010;10(13):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/10.13.2.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We investigated the way in which binocular coordination in reading is affected by the spatial structure of text. Vergence eye movements were measured (EyeLink II) in 32 observers while they read 120 single German sentences (Potsdam Sentence Corpus) silently for comprehension. The similarity in shape between the neighboring strokes of component letters, as measured by the first peak in the horizontal auto-correlation of the images of the words, was found to be associated with (i) a smaller minimum fixation disparity (i.e. vergence error) during fixation; (ii) a longer time to reach this minimum disparity and (iii) a longer overall fixation duration. The results were obtained only for binocular reading: no effects of auto-correlation could be observed for monocular reading. The findings help to explain the longer reading times reported for words and fonts with high auto-correlation and may also begin to provide a causal link between poor binocular control and reading difficulties.
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