Eye movements as reflections of comprehension processes in reading

Keith Rayner, Kathryn H. Chace, Timothy J. Slattery, Jane Ashby

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

335 Scopus citations


In this article, we discuss the use of eye movement data to assess moment-to-moment comprehension processes. We first review some basic characteristics of eye movements during reading and then present two studies in which eye movements are monitored to confirm that eye movements are sensitive to (a) global text passage difficulty and (b) inconsistencies in text. We demonstrate that processing times increased (and especially that the number of fixations increased) when text is difficult. When there is an inconsistency, readers fixated longer on the region where the inconsistency occurred. In both studies, the probability of making a regressive eye movement increased as well. Finally, we discuss the use of eye movement recording as a research tool to further study moment-to-moment comprehension processes and the possibility of using this tool in more applied school settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-255
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Eye movements as reflections of comprehension processes in reading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this