September 12, 2023

Why Do We Make Eye Movements While Reading?

Why Do We Make Eye Movements While Reading?

We produce eye movements when we read because our eyes are like little explorers on an adventure! Consider each word in a book to be a treasure and our eyes to be a flashlight that assists us in locating each treasure. Our eyes fly from one word to the next, as if we were playing a game and hopping from one stone to the next. 

This allows us to understand the story better and discover new things. It would be like attempting to uncover hidden treasures in the dark if our eyes didn’t move. 

Making eye movements while reading is thus a delightful activity that assists our brains in understanding and enjoying the contents on the page. Moving our eyes while reading is a delightful experience, enabling us to enjoy books and discover new things!

How Are Eye Movements Measured?

How Are Eye Movements Measured?

Various approaches and instruments can be used to measure eye movements. Here are several ways for measuring eye movements that are commonly used:

1. Electrooculography (EOG) 

EOG measures the electrical impulses produced by eye muscle action. To record these impulses, electrodes are put around the eyes. EOG is frequently used in medical settings to detect eye problems and assess eye movement’s direction.

2. Video-Based Eye Tracking 

This is one of the most widely utilized methods in science and technology. Unique cameras record the reflection of infrared light off the cornea and the pupil position. The software can calculate where a person is looking on a screen or in the environment by tracking these reflections.

3. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

While fMRI is generally used to research brain activity, it can also track eye movements indirectly. When a person is taught to follow specific visual stimuli, changes in brain activity connected with eye movement can be noticed.

4. Pupillometry 

Pupil size can alter due to changes in lighting and cognitive processes, including attention shifts. Pupilometers measure these variations and can provide data on mental workload and attention changes.

5. Electroretinography (ERG)

ERG measures the electrical activity of the retina in reaction to light. It is not used to track eye movements directly, but it can provide information about retinal health, which can affect eye motions indirectly.

6. Infrared Gaze Pointers 

Infrared light sources can be employed in devices such as computer mice or remote controllers to track where a person is looking on a screen. This is often utilized in interactive and gaming systems.

7. Corneal Reflections 

A light source is occasionally shined into the eye, and the reflection from the cornea is utilized to measure eye movements. This strategy is frequently used in clinical evaluations.

Each procedure has pros and disadvantages and is used based on the individual research or therapeutic application. Video-based eye tracking is the most versatile and extensively used method for monitoring eye movements in numerous contexts, including reading research, usability testing, and psychology investigations.

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