Eye fixation patterns among dyslexic and normal readers: effects of word length and word frequency

J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1995 Nov;21(6):1430-40. doi: 10.1037//0278-7393.21.6.1430.


Eye fixation patterns of 21 dyslexic and 21 younger, nondyslexic readers were compared when they read aloud 2 texts. The study examined whether word-frequency and word-length effects previously found for skilled adult readers would generalize equally to younger dyslexic and nondyslexic readers. Significantly longer gaze durations and reinspection times were found for low-frequency and long words than for high-frequency and short words. The effects also showed up in the number of fixations on the target words. The effects did not differ significantly for the 2 experimental groups. The results run counter to the oculomotor dysfunction hypothesis of dyslexia. Instead, they support the view that both dyslexic and nondyslexic readers' eye fixation patterns reflect their difficulties in successfully identifying words in a text.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Dyslexia / psychology*
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Form Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Oculomotor Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Reading*
  • Time Factors