How Cognition Affects Eye Movements During Reading

George W. McConkie, Shun Nan Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents an argument against the theories that attribute most eye-movement behavior during reading to direct cognitive control. The chapter proposes a theory in which eye behavior is controlled in a much less cognitive manner through an automatic system of activation and inhibition within the saccadic system. The chapter explains the three ways in which cognition, which is known to affect eye behavior, exerts its influence in such a system. These include (1) inhibition of saccadic activity when processing difficulties are encountered, (2) adjustment of parameters in the saccadic control system, and (3) direct cognitive control. Thus, the proposal is that eye behavior in reading is usually produced on a noncognitive basis but is influenced in indirect ways by certain cognitive activities that take place while reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Mind's Eye
Subtitle of host publicationCognitive and Applied Aspects of Eye Movement Research
EditorsJ Hyönä, R Radach, H Deubel
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780080518923
ISBN (Print)9780444510204
StatePublished - Jun 5 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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