Concept

Eye movement in reading

Summary
Eye movement in reading involves the visual processing of written text. This was described by the French ophthalmologist Louis Émile Javal in the late 19th century. He reported that eyes do not move continuously along a line of text, but make short, rapid movements (saccades) intermingled with short stops (fixations). Javal's observations were characterised by a reliance on naked-eye observation of eye movement in the absence of technology. From the late 19th to the mid-20th century, investigators used early tracking technologies to assist their observation, in a research climate that emphasised the measurement of human behaviour and skill for educational ends. Most basic knowledge about eye movement was obtained during this period. Since the mid-20th century, there have been three major changes: the development of non-invasive eye-movement tracking equipment; the introduction of computer technology to enhance the power of this equipment to pick up, record, and process the huge volume
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