Estimating the proportion of preplanned refixations in natural reading using Monte‐Carlo simulations

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Recent research has suggested that refixation saccades in reading can be planned before the first fixation is made on a word. If some proportion of refixations are preplanned, then the asymmetric shape of initial landing position distributions may be due to the mixing of two populations of saccades—planned single-fixations that are aimed at word-centre and planned refixation sequences that are aimed near word-beginning. Here, we used Monte-Carlo methods in conjunction with a computational model of saccade planning to estimate the proportion of preplanned refixations in normal reading. Simulation results suggest that about 20% of refixation saccades were preplanned and that preplanning was associated with an initial landing position nearer word-beginning for multiple-fixation cases compared with single-fixation cases.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University René Descartes, Paris, France

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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