The influence of part of speech text structure on eye movements during natural reading



The difficulty of lexical processing can explain substantial part of variability in fixation duration during the reading process. Factors like word length, frequency, syntactic and semantic ambiguity impact fixation time. On the other hand, there is not much understanding of how saccades parameters vary depending on the text characteristics. Here we investigate how part-of-speech text structure influences eye-movements during the natural reading process. We presented text excerpts from Russian classic literature containing overabundant quantity of verbs, nouns or adjectives to the participants and record their eye-movements during reading. Eye- tracking data was analyzed with the consideration of the individual differences in the reading behavior. We found that saccade length measured in the number of symbols covered per saccade, its duration, average velocity and curve slope differ significantly for texts with different part-of-speech content. This result can provide an evidence of the influence of higher level cognitive processes not only on fixations but also on saccadic movements. This work was supported by Russian Science Foundation (project № 14-18-02135 «Psychophysiological and neurolinguistic aspects of the recognition process, verbal and nonverbal patterns»).

General Information

Keywords: saccade, part-of-speech, reading, eye-tracking, eye movements

Journal rubric: Psychology of Perception

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Malakhova E.Y., Lamminpiya A.M., Shelepin Y.E. The influence of part of speech text structure on eye movements during natural reading. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2016. Vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 18–32. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2016090403. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

E. Y. Malakhova, Junior Researcher, Laboratory of Vision Physiology, Pavlov Institute of Physiology RAS, e-mail:

A. M. Lamminpiya, Junior Researcher, Laboratory of Vision Physiology, Pavlov Institute of Physiology RAS, e-mail:

Yuriy E. Shelepin, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Physiology of Vision, I.P. Pavlov Institute of Physiology, RAS, St.Petersburg, Russia



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