Binocular advantages for parafoveal processing in reading

Nikolova, Mirela, Jainta, Stephanie, Blythe, Hazel and Liversedge, Simon Paul orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8579-8546 (2018) Binocular advantages for parafoveal processing in reading. Vision Research . ISSN 0042-6989

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During reading, binocular visual input results in superior performance and is particularly important in the pre-processing of parafoveal text prior to direct fixation. It is not yet clear whether binocular vision in the parafovea is necessary for accurate saccadic targeting, or for efficient pre-processing of upcoming text, prior to direct fixation. In the present sentence reading experiment, we used a dichoptic gaze-contingent moving window paradigm in order to establish 1) how much parafoveal binocular input is necessary for fluent reading and 2) which aspect of parafoveal processing is more reliant on binocular vision. Eye movement measures revealed that reading was disrupted unless word N?+?1 was entirely binocular in the parafovea, though no additional benefit was observed when word N?+?2 was also binocular. Additionally, while fixation durations and reading times were clearly affected by the manipulation, similarly pronounced changes in binocular saccadic parameters such as accuracy, speed, amplitude and velocity were not observed. We concluded that the disruption to reading caused by presenting monocular text to the right of fixation cannot be attributed to difficulties in targeting binocular saccacdes, but instead results from a decreased efficiency in the pre-processing of parafoveal text. These results provide further demonstration for the importance of binocular vision during written text processing.

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