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Eye Movements in Older Adults' Reading

Eye movement research investigating reading in older adults is conducted to understand the consequences of visual and cognitive decline with age. To date, research has shown that eye movement control and eye coordination are preserved in older age. In addition, it has been observed that both English and Chinese older adults read more slowly, make more and longer fixations, as well as more regressions (saccades backwards in the text in order to allow for re-reading) than younger adults. However, it has been suggested that English older adults use a "risky" reading strategy (e.g., they skip and guess words more often to compensate for their slower reading), while Chinese older adults use a more careful strategy (e.g., they skip less often and process words thoroughly) compared to younger adults.

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Here we list some of our work in this area and we direct anyone with particular interest in this work to consider research conducted by the research group at the University of Leicester headed by Professor Kevin Paterson.

  • He, L., Ma, W., Shen, F., Wang, Y., Wu, J., Warrington, K. L, Liversedge, S.P., & Paterson, K.B. (2021). Adult Age Differences in Parafoveal Preview Effects during Reading: Evidence from Chinese. Psychology and Aging. In press.

  • Su, J., Yin, G., Bai, X., Yan, G., Kurtev, S., Warrington, K.L., McGowan, V.A., Liversedge, S.P & Paterson, K.B. (2020) Flexibility in the Perceptual Span during Reading: Evidence from Mongolian. Attention Perception and Psychophysics, 82, 1566-1572.

  • Zang, C., Zhang, M., Bai, X., Yan, G., Paterson, K.B., & Liversedge, S.P. (2016). Effects of word frequency and visual complexity on eye movements of young and older Chinese readers, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(7), 1409-1425.