Grant Robertson and Richard Shillock
Tue 07 Feb 2017, 11:00 - 12:00
IF 4.31/4.33

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Gareth Beedham (gbeedham)

Richard Shillcock

"Understanding reading; Re-thinking the role of vergence movements in reading"

I will descibe current work with eye-movement data from the reading of Chinese and English. Vergence movements

are when the eyes converge or diverge to look at nearer or farther planes. Most researchers see vergence movements in terms

of the reader attempting to move the fixation points of the two eyes to be within a very small distance of each other (Panum’s Fusional Area) so as to avoid diplopia (double vision). I will describe an alternative explanation whereby the visual system is 

very literally zooming in on the text in order to devote a greater area of visual cortex to the immediate visual task in that fixation.

I will locate this explanation within a wider theory of binocular vision, illustrating it with differences from the reading behaviours of English and Chinese speakers. I will situate this concentration on the materiality of the processing (e.g. physical area of the visual cortex, reality of two eyes in reading) within the direction that Psychology has taken over the last century and where it should be going.

[This is work with Y-ting Hsiao, Mateo Obregón, Matthew Roberts, Hamutal Kreiner and Scott McDonald]