Word processing speed in peripheral vision measured with a saccadic choice task.


  • Chanceaux Myriam
  • Vitu Françoise
  • Bendahman Luisa
  • Thorpe Simon
  • Grainger Jonathan


  • Eye movements
  • Saccadic choice task
  • Word processing
  • Peripheral vision

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A saccadic choice task (Kirchner & Thorpe, 2006) was used to measure word processing speed in peripheral vision. To do so, word targets were accompanied by distractor stimuli, which were random strings of consonants presented in the contralateral visual field. Participants were also tested with the animal stimuli of Kirchner and Thorpe's original study. The results obtained with the animal stimuli provide a straightforward replication of prior findings, with the estimated fastest saccade latencies to animal targets being 140ms. With the word targets, the fastest reliable saccades occurred with latencies of around 200ms. The results obtained with word targets provide a timing estimate for word processing in peripheral vision that is incompatible with sequential-attention-shift (SAS) accounts of eye movement control in reading.

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