Onglets principaux

Equipe(s) de recherche

Plateau technique


PhD in Cognitive Psychology (1990)

Director of Research at the French National Center for Research (CNRS)

Co-Head with E. CASTET of the Perception & Attention Group at the Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive


2015 - Now

  • Adeli, H., Vitu, F. & Zelinsky, G.J. (2017). A model of the superior colliculus predicts fixation locations during scene viewing and visual search. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(6), 1453-1467.
  • Snell, J., Vitu, F., & Grainger, J. (2017). Integration of parafoveal orthographic information during foveal word reading: beyond the sub-lexical level? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70(10),1984-1996. DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2016.1217247
  • Vitu, F., Casteau, S., Adeli, H., Zelinsky, G.J. & Castet, E. (2017). The magnification factor accounts for the greater hypometria and imprecision of larger saccades: Evidence from a parametric human-behavioral study. Journal of Vision, 17(4):2, 1-38.
  • Nuthmann, A., Vitu, F., Engbert, R., & Kliegl, R. (2016). No evidence for a saccadic range effect in visually guided and memory-guided saccades in simple saccade-targeting tasks. PLoS ONE, 11(9): e0162449. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162449.
  • Van der Linden, L. & Vitu, F. (2016). On the optimal viewing position for object processing. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78(2), 602-617. doi: 10.3758/s13414-015-1025-z.
  • Mathôt, S., Siebold, A., Donk, M. & Vitu, F. (2015). Large pupils predict goal-driven eye movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(3), 513-521. doi:10.1037/a0039168.
  • Mathôt, S., van der Linden, L., Grainger, J. & Vitu, F. (2015). The pupillary light response reflects eye-movement preparation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41(1), 28–35. doi:10.1037/a0038653.
  • Van der Linden, L., Mathôt, S. & Vitu, F. (2015). The role of object affordances and center of gravity in eye movements towards isolated daily-life objects. Journal of Vision, 15(5),, doi:10.1167/15.5.8.


2010 - 2014

  • Grainger, J., Mathôt, S. & Vitu, F. (2014). Tests of a model of multi-word reading: Effects of parafoveal flanking letters on foveal word recognition. Acta Psychologica, 146, 35-40.
  • Massendari, D., Tandonnet, C., & Vitu, F. (2014). On the reduced influence of contour on saccade metrics and its competition with stimulus size. Vision research, 101, 158-166.
  • Yao-N’Dré, M., Castet, E. & Vitu, F. (2014). Inter-word eye behavior during reading is not invariant to character size: Evidence against systematic saccadic range error in reading. Visual Cognition, 22(3-4), 415-440.
  • Lavigne, F., Chanquoy, L., Dumercy, L. & Vitu, F. (2013). Early dynamics of the semantic priming shift. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 9(1), 1-14.
  • Mathôt, S., van der Linden, L., Grainger, J. & Vitu, F. (2013). The pupillary light response reveals the focus of attention. PlosOne, 8(13), 1-10.
  • Tandonnet, C., Casteau, S., & Vitu, F. (2013). On the limited effect of stimulus boundaries on saccade metrics. Journal of Vision, 13(12):13, 1–11,, doi:10.1167/13.12.13.
  • Tandonnet, C. & Vitu, F. (2013). Stimulus properties and saccade metrics: When local features are more critical than global features. Behavioral Neuroscience, 127(1), 121-125.
  • Yao-N’Dré, M., Castet, E. & Vitu, F. (2013). The Optimal Viewing Position effect in the lower visual-field. Vision Research, 76(14), 114-123.
  • Casteau, S. & Vitu, F. (2012). On the effect of remote and proximal distractors on saccadic behavior: A challenge to neural-field models. Journal of Vision, 12(12):14, 1-33.
  • Chanceaux, M., Vitu, F., Bendahman, L., Thorpe, S. & Grainger, J. (2012). Word Processing Speed in Peripheral Vision Measured with a Saccadic Choice Task. Vision Research, 56, 10-19.
  • Krügel, A., Vitu, F., & Engbert, R. (2012). Fixation positions after skipping saccades: A single space makes a large difference. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 74(8), 1556-1561. DOI 10.3758/s13414-012-0365-1.
  • Lavigne, F., Dumercy, L., Chanquoy, L., Mercier, B. & Vitu-Thibault, F. (2012). Dynamics of the semantic priming shift: Behavioral experiments and cortical network model. Cognitive Neurodynamics, 6, 467-483. DOI 10.1007/s11571-012-9206-0
  • Tandonnet, C., Massendari, D. & Vitu, F. (2012). When larger visual distractors become less disruptive: Behavioral evidence for lateral inhibition in saccade generation. Journal of Vision, 12(4):2, 1–11,, doi:10.1167/12.4.2.
  • Vitu, F. (2011). On the role of visual and oculomotor processes in reading. In S.P. Liversedge, I.D. Gilchrist & S. Everling (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook on Eye Movements. Oxford University Press. (pp. 731-750)


2005 - 2009

  • Vitu, F. (2008). About the global effect and the critical role of retinal eccentricity: Implications for eye movements in reading. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 2(3): 6, 1-18.
  • Rolfs, M., & Vitu, F. (2007). On the limited role of target onset in the gap task: Support for the motor-preparation hypothesis. Journal of Vision, 7(10):7, 1–20,
  • Vitu, F., Lancelin, D., & Marrier d’Unienville, V. (2007). A perceptual-economy account for the Inverted-Optimal Viewing Position effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33(5), 1220-1249.
  • Yang, S.-N., & Vitu, F. (2007). Dynamic coding of saccade length in reading. In R.P.G. van Gompel, M.H. Fischer, W.S. Murray, and R.L. Hill (Eds.). Eye movements: A window on mind and brain. Oxford: Elsevier Science, pp. 293-318.
  • Vitu, F., Lancelin, D., Jean, A., & Farioli, F. (2006). Influence of foveal distractors on saccadic eye movements: A dead zone for the global effect. Vision Research, 46, 4684-4708.
  • Brysbaert, M., Drieghe, D., & Vitu, F. (2005). Word skipping: Implications for theories of eye movement control in reading. In G. Underwood (Ed.), Cognitive Processes in eye guidance. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 53-77.
  • Vitu, F. (2005). Visual extraction processes and regressive saccades in reading. In G. Underwood (Ed.), Cognitive processes in eye guidance. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-32.


2000 - 2004

  • Vitu, F., Brysbaert, M., & Lancelin, D. (2004). A test of parafoveal-on-foveal effects with pairs of orthographically related words. The European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 16(1/2), 154-177.
  • Vitu, F.,. Kapoula, Z., Lancelin, D., & Lavigne, F. (2004). Eye movements in reading isolated words: Evidence for strong biases towards the center of the screen. Vision Research, 44(3), 321-338.
  • Vitu, F., & O’Regan, J.K. (2004). Les mouvements oculaires comme indice on-line des processus cognitifs : Rêve ou réalité ? In Ferrand, L., & Grainger, L. (Eds.). Psycholinguistique Cognitive. Bruxelles: De Boeck Université, Collection Neurosciences et Cognition, pp. 189-214.
  • Vitu, F. (2003). The basic assumptions of E-Z reader are not well-founded. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 26(4), 506-507.
  • Vitu, F. (2002). Mouvements oculaires et Lecture. In ASNAV (Ed.). La vision de l’enfant : de la naissance à la lecture. AFPSSU, Médecine Scolaire et Universitaire : Paris, pp. 59-69.
  • Vitu, F., McConkie, G.W., Kerr, P., & O’Regan, J.K. (2001). Fixation location effects on fixation durations during reading: an inverted optimal viewing position effect. Vision Research, 41(25-26), 3511-3531.
  • Kapoula, Z., & Vitu, F. (2000). La lecture et la mobilité du regard. Tribune Internationale des Langues Vivantes, 28, 10-17.
  • Lavigne-Tomps, F., Vitu, F., & d’Ydewalle, G. (2000). The influence of semantic context on initial landing sites in words. Acta Psychologica, 104, 191-214.
  • Vitu, F., & McConkie, G.W. (2000). Regressive saccades and word perception in adult reading. In A. Kennedy, R. Radach, D. Heller, & J. Pynte (Eds.), Reading as a perceptual process, Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 301-326.


1995 - 1999

  • Schroyens, W., Vitu, F., Brysbaert, M., & d’Ydewalle., G. (1999). Eye movement control during reading: foveal load and parafoveal processing. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 52A (4), 1021-1046.
  • Vitu, F. (1999). About saccade generation in reading. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 702-703.
  • Vitu, F. (1999). Les saccades régressives pendant la lecture: Comparaison enfants/adultes. Sciences de la Vision et leurs Applications, Bulletin de la Société Française d’Optique Physiologique n°7.
  • Brysbaert, M., & Vitu, F. (1998). Word skipping: Implications for theories of eye movement control in reading. In G. Underwood (Ed.), Eye guidance in Reading and Scene Perception. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 125-147.
  • Vitu, F., McConkie, G.W., & Zola, D. (1998). About regressive saccades in reading and their relation to word identification. In G. Underwood, Eye Guidance in Reading and Scene Perception, Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 101-124.
  • Lavigne-Tomps, F., & Vitu, F. (1997). Time course of facilitatory and inhibitory semantic priming effects in visual word recognition. International Journal of Psycholinguistics, 13(3), 311-349.
  • Brysbaert, M., Vitu, F., & Schroyens, W. (1996). The right visual field advantage and the Optimal Viewing Position Effect: On the relation between foveal and parafoveal word recognition. Neuropsychology, 10, 385-395.
  • Vitu, F. (1995). Les mouvements oculaires pendant la lecture : Etat des connaissances actuelles, In S. Boubee (Ed.), Vision et Lecture (ASNAV), Médecine Scolaire et Université, APSU, pp. 41-52.
  • Vitu, F., & O’Regan, J.K. (1995). A challenge to current theories of eye movements in reading. In J. Findlay, R.W. Kentridge, & R. Walker (Eds.), Eye movement research: Mechanisms, Processes and applications, Amsterdam, Lausanne, NY, Oxford, Shannon, Tokio: Elsevier, pp. 381-392.
  • Vitu, F., O’Regan, J.K., Inhoff, A., & Topolski, R. (1995). Mindless reading: Eye movement characteristics are similar in scanning strings and reading texts, Perception and Psychophysics, 57, 352-364.


1988 - 1994

  • Inhoff, A., Topolski, R., Vitu, F., & O’Regan, J.K. (1994). Attention demands and the occurence of Brief (Express) Fixations. Perception and Psychophysics, 54, 814-823.
  • O’Regan, J.K., Vitu, F., Radach, R., & Kerr, P.W. (1994). Effects of local processing and oculomotor factors in eye movement guidance in reading. In J. Ygge, & G. Lennerstrand (Eds.), Eye movements in reading, Oxford, U.K.: Pergamon Press, pp.329-348.
  • Vitu, F. (1993) - The influence of the reading rhythm on the optimal landing position effect. In G. d’Ydewalle, & J. Van Rensbergen (Eds), Perception and Cognition: Advances in Eye Movement Research, Amsterdam, London, NY, Tokyo: North Holland, pp. 181-192.
  • Vitu, F. (1993). Prediction as an explanation for the occurence of express saccades, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16, 592.
  • Vitu, F. (1991a). The existence of a center of gravity effect during reading, Vision Research, 31 (7/8), 1289-1313.
  • Vitu, F. (1991b). The influence of parafoveal preprocessing and linguistic context on the optimal landing position effect, Perception and Psychophysics, 50, 58-75.
  • Vitu, F. (1991c). Research Note: Against the existence of a range effect during reading. Vision Research, 31 (11), 2009-2015.
  • Vitu, F. & O’Regan, J.K. (1990). Eye movements in reading : Optimal landing position and usefulness of peripheral preview, In D. Brogan (Ed.), The First International Conference on Visual Search, pp. 133-140.
  • Vitu, F., & O’Regan, J.K. (1990). Is there an optimal landing position in words during reading of texts? In R. Schmid & D. Zambarbieri (Eds.), Oculomotor control and Cognitive Processes-Normal and Pathological Aspects, Selected/Edited Papers from the 5th European Conference on Eye Movements, Pavia, Italy, 10-13 September, 1989, Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 341-351.
  • Vitu, F., O’Regan, J.K., & Mittau, M. (1990). Optimal landing position in reading isolated words and continuous text, Perception and Psychophysics, 47 (6), 583-600.
  • Vitu, F. & O’Regan, J.K. (1989). Le rôle du prétraitement périphérique dans la lecture de textes. Journal de Médecine Nucléaire et Biophysique, 13 (5), 359-366.
  • Vitu, F. & O’Regan, J.K., (1988). Effect of parafoveal preprocessing and reading rhythm on optimal landing position in words of different length and frequency. In G. Luer, U. Lass & J. Shallo-Hoffman (Eds.), Eye Movement Research: Physiological and Psychological Aspects, Toronto, Zurich: Hogrefe, pp. 286-292.




I work in the field of active vision. I am interested in determining the mechanisms and mental processes that underlie the movements of our eyes in natural perceptual tasks. I specialized in the domain of eye movements in reading and my interests are therefore tightly linked to those of psycholinguists. However, within my approach, reading remains primarily a tool or framework to investigate the interactions between low-level visual extraction processes, higher-level cognitive processes and oculomotor processes associated with saccade programming.

In the past, several authors and myself identified recurrent eye movement patterns in reading; we refer to these as regularities or universals of eye guidance. These robust phenomena characterize the eye movements of adult and children readers. They were found in several languages including English, German and French. And quite surprisingly, they were shown to generalize to mindless reading (or the scanning of lines of z-letter strings), thus suggesting that they are independant of language-related processes.

Based on these and other findings, I proposed the hypothesis that eye movements in our everyday life, whether during reading or scene viewing, are primarily determined by fondamental/universal visuo-motor principles. Over the last years, I therefore developed a new line of research aimed at determining these fundamental principles, based on the study of the behavioral correlates of the neural mechanisms involved in saccade programming and visual processing. This work at the intersection of the psychology and computational neurosciences of vision and oculomotor control, relies on the parametric study of the properties of saccades in a wide range of tasks and for a wide variety of visual stimuli (from dots to ellipses, words and objects). In a long term run, my goal is to develop an ecologically-valid model of active vision that accounts for eye movements in reading as much as scene perception.

Another research topic that I started to work on several years ago, relates to the role of attention in visual perception. The question arises naturally when we think of observers facing visually complex natural scenes and texts. On every eye fixation, information from adjacent objects or words simultaneously stimulates the retina. Is information processed all at once in parallel, but within the limits of visual acuity, or is it processed sequentially with the help of selective attentional processes? Our first results in the reading domain favour a parallel and competitive view for the processing of adjacent words.





  • Sebastiaan MATHOT, Bourse Marie-Curie (Oct. 2014 - Oct. 2016)
  • Soazig CASTEAU, Contrat Franco-Allemand (ANR-DFG) à F. Lavigne (Janv. 2013 - Octobre 2013)
  • Christophe TANDONNET, Contrat Franco-Allemand (ANR-DFG) à F. Vitu (Oct. 2008 - June 2013)
  • Frouke HERMENS, Contrat Franco-Allemand (ANR-DFG) à F. Vitu (Janv. - Avril 2008)
  • Marc BRYSBAERT, Boursier de la Fondation Fyssen (1994)



  • Claire ALBRENGUES (en co-direction avec F. Lavigne), Doctorat en Psychologie Cognitive, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (Oct. 2013 - )
  • Lotje VAN DER LINDEN, Doctorat ’Psychologie Cognitive’, Aix-Marseille Université (Defended in February 2018)
  • Delphine MASSENDARI (en co-direction avec C. Tandonnet), Doctorat ’Psychologie et Neuropsychologie des perturbations cognitives’, Aix-Marseille Université (Defended in April 2015)
  • Soazig CASTEAU, Doctorat ‘Psychologie et physiologie de la cognition’, Université de Provence (Defended in April 2012)
  • Marina YAO-N’DRE (en co-direction avec E. Castet), Doctorat ‘Neurosciences’, Université de Provence (Defended in March 2013)
  • Frédéric LAVIGNE (en co-direction avec D. Dubois), Doctorat en Sciences Cognitives, EHESS, Paris (Defended in December 1995)



  • Luisa BENDHAMAN (en co-direction avec J. Grainger), Université Aix-Marseille II (2008-2009)
  • Marina YAO-N’DRE (en co-direction avec E. Castet), Université Aix-Marseille II (2007-2008)



  • Sofien KHAMLICH (en co-direction avec S. Casteau), Aix-Marseille Université (2013)
  • Nathalie PALLOT-KWAK (en co-direction avec L. van der Linden), Aix-Marseille Université (2013)
  • Valérie SUDRE (en co-direction avec D. Massendari), Aix-Marseille Université (2012)



  • Mourad KHERRAB (en co-direction avec L. van der Linden), Aix-Marseille Université (2015-2016)
  • Claire ALBRENGUES (en co-direction avec F. Lavigne), Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (2012-2013)
  • Delphine MASSENDARI (en co-direction avec C. Tandonnet), Université de Provence (2009-2010)
  • Véronique NGÔ (en co-direction avec F. Lavigne), Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (2008-2009)
  • Christian BLANES, Université de Provence (2007-2008) // Soazig CASTEAU, Université de Provence (2007-2008)
  • Julia SPORTIELLO (en co-direction avec T. Ripoll), Université de Provence (2007-2008)
  • Sophie CAILLES (en co-direction avec P. Lemaire), Université de Provence (2006-2007)



  • Mourad KHERRAB (en co-direction avec L. van der Linden), Aix-Marseille Université (2014-2015)
  • Delphine MASSENDARI (en co-direction avec C. Tandonnet), Université de Provence (2008-2009)
  • Véronique NGÔ (en co-direction avec F. Lavigne), Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (2007-2008)
  • Clémentine TONNOT-MENSIER (en co-direction avec F. Lavigne), Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (2007-2008)
  • Fanny TANGUY (en co-direction avec F. Lavigne), Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (2006-2007)
  • Gaëlle TARDIVEL (en co-direction avec F. Lavigne), Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis (2006-2007)
  • Florian CRON, Université René Descartes - Paris V (2002-2003)
  • Valentine MARRIER d’UNIENVILLE, Université René Descartes - Paris V (2002-2003)
  • Hélène VANSETERS (en co-direction avec Z. Kapoula), Université René Descartes - Paris V (2002-2003)
  • Adélaïde FRANCISCO, Université René Descartes - Paris V (1999-2000)
  • Manuel GOMEZ (en co-direction avec Z. Kapoula), Université René Descartes - Paris V (1998-1999)
  • Mireille MITTAU (en co-direction avec K. O’Regan), Université René Descartes - Paris V (1989-1990)


ERASMUS INTERNS (Master level ; Experimental Psychology)

  • Hermina VAN COILLIE, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, B. (1999-2000)
  • Koen BOERGERS, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, B. (1998-1999)
  • Sabine LAMOTE, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, B. (1998-1999)
  • Elisa SIMONATTI, University of Padova, I. (1998-1999)
  • Marijke van de POEL, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, B. (1995-1996)
  • Walter SCHROYENS, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, B. (1994-1996)
  • Benedicte LOWICK, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, B. (1994-1995)


Interns from Ecole des Psychologues Praticiens, Université Catholique de Paris

  • Last Year Dissertations (5th Year): Séraphine GASSE (2003-2004) // Philippine BAER (2000)
  • 3rd- & 4th-Year Interns: Rebecca GOODMAN (2003-2004) // Séraphine GASSE (2001-2003) // Elise OHANA (2000-2001) // Alexandre JEAN (1999-2000) // Aude LELANDAIS (1999-2000) // Amaury SOLIGNAC (1998-1999) // Cécile DEVINAT (1995)


2nd-Year Interns in Electronics & Computer Science (Université Paris XII)

  • Gaël FAUCHET & Jean-Yves POCHET (en co-direction avec D. Lancelin) (2000)




  • Hossein ADELI, Stony Brook University, NY, USA
  • Marc BRYSBAERT, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Eric CASTET, Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, CNRS - AMU, Marseille
  • Myriam CHANCEAUX, Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurocognition, CNRS - Université Pierre Mendès France, Grenoble
  • Mieke DONK, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, TN
  • Ralf ENGBERT, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Jonathan GRAINGER, Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, CNRS - AMU, Marseille
  • Albrecht INHOFF, Binghamton University, NY, USA
  • Zoï KAPOULA, Groupe IRIS, Vision et Motricité, CNRS, Paris, France
  • Reinhold KLIEGL, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • André KRUGEL, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Denis LANCELIN, Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs, CNRS, ENS, Paris
  • Frédéric LAVIGNE, Laboratoire Bases, Corpus & Langage, CNRS - Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France
  • Sebastiaan MATHOT, Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, CNRS - AMU, Marseille
  • George W. MCCONKIE, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA
  • Antje NUTHMANN, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Kevin O’REGAN, Laboratoire Psychologie de la perception, CNRS, Université Paris Descartes, Paris
  • Martin ROLFS, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
  • Christophe TANDONNET, Université de Genève, Switzerland
  • Simon THORPE, Centre de Recherche Cerveau & Cognition, CNRS - Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse-
  • Shun-nan YANG, Pacific University, College of Optometry, Forest Grove, OR, USA
  • Gregory ZELINSKY, Stony Brook University, NY, USA