ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 404-412.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00404

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How do readers select the saccade targets?

LI Yugang1,2; HUANG Ren3; HUA Huimin1,2; LI Xingshan1   

  1. (1 Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China) (2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China) (3 Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China)
  • Received:2016-01-04 Online:2017-03-15 Published:2017-03-15
  • Contact: LI Xingshan, E-mail:


How do readers select a landing position when they make a saccade is an interesting and important question in cognitive psychology research. For alphabetic languages (i.e., English and German) which use blank spaces to segment words, readers usually make saccades to the preferred viewing location (PVL), which is usually slightly to the left of the center of a word. For non-alphabetic languages like Chinese, however, the absence of obvious visual cues between words makes the selection of a landing position more complex. Recently, researchers have studied saccade target selection from the perspective of dynamic saccade adjustment based on foveal-parafoveal processing. They found that saccade lengths are influenced by the demands of on-going foveal and parafoveal processing. Moreover, the processing of parafoveal information directly determines the saccade lengths. However, more efforts are needed to understand precisely how saccade length is adjusted to accommodate foveal and parafoveal processing demands during the reading of both alphabetic and non-alphabetic languages.

Key words: saccade target selection, foveal-parafoveal processing, Chinese reading