Saccade-Target Selection of Dyslexic Children When Reading Chinese

Jinger Pan, Ming Yan, Jochen Laubrock, Hua Shu, Reinhold Kliegl

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This study investigates the eye movements of dyslexic children and their age-matched controls when reading Chinese. Dyslexic children exhibited more and longer fixations than age-matched control children, and an increase of word length resulted in a greater increase in the number of fixations and gaze durations for the dyslexic than for the control readers. The report focuses on the finding that there was a significant difference between the two groups in the first-fixation landing position as a function of word length in single-fixation cases, while there was no such difference in the initial fixation of multi-fixation cases. We also found that both groups had longer incoming saccade amplitudes while the launch sites were closer to the word in single fixation cases than in multi-fixation cases. Our results suggest that dyslexic children's inefficient lexical processing, in combination with the absence of orthographic word boundaries in Chinese, leads them to select saccade targets at the beginning of words conservatively. These findings provide further evidence for parafoveal word segmentation during reading of Chinese sentences.

Vision Research