Eye movements during reading: A theory of saccade initiation times

S. N. Yang, G. W. McConkie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As people read continuous text, on occasional single eye fixations the text was replaced by one of six alternate stimulus patterns. Frequency distributions of the durations of these fixations were used to test predictions from four types of theories of saccadic eye movement control. Contrary to current cognitive theories, cognitive influences appeared to delay saccades rather than trigger them. Two saccade disruption times were identified, suggesting the existence of three distributions of saccades, labeled early, normal and late. The Competition-inhibition theory, an enhanced version of Findlay and Walker's (1999) theory, is proposed to account for eye movement control during reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3567-3585
Number of pages19
JournalVision Research
Issue number25-26
StatePublished - Dec 10 2001


  • Eye movements
  • Fixation duration distribution
  • Inhibition
  • Reading
  • Saccade initiation time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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