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Title: Do fixation cues ensure fixation accuracy in split-fovea studies of word recognition?
Authors: Jordan, TR
Paterson, KB
Kurtev, S
Xu, M
First Published: Jul-2009
Citation: NEUROPSYCHOLOGIA, 2009, 47 (8-9), pp. 2004-2007
Abstract: Many studies have claimed that hemispheric processing is split precisely at the foveal midline and so place great emphasis on the precise location at which words are fixated. These claims are based on experiments in which a variety of fixation procedures were used to ensure fixation accuracy but the effectiveness of these procedures is unclear. We investigated this issue using procedures matched to the original studies and an eye-tracker to monitor the locations actually fixated. Four common types of fixation cues were used: cross, two vertical gapped lines, two vertical gapped lines plus a secondary task in which a digit was presented at the designated fixation point, and a dot. Accurate fixations occurred on <35% of trials for all fixation conditions. Moreover, despite the usefulness often attributed to a secondary task, no increase in fixation accuracy was produced in this condition. The indications are that split-fovea theory should not assume that fixation of specified locations occurs in experiments without appropriate eye-tracking control or, indeed, that consistent fixation of specified locations is plausible under normal conditions of word recognition.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.12.014
eISSN: 1873-3514
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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