A dynamic adjustment model of saccade lengths in reading for word-spaced orthographies: evidence from simulations and invisible boundary experiments

Jarkko Hautala*, Stefan Hawelka, Otto Loberg, Paavo H.T. Leppänen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contemporary models of eye movement control in reading assume a discrete target word selection process preceding saccade length computation, while the selection itself is assumed to be driven by word identification processes. However, a potentially more parsimonious, dynamic adjustment view allows both next word length and its content (e.g. orthographic) to modulate saccade length in a continuous manner. Based on a recently proposed center-based saccade length account (a new regression model of forward saccade length is introduced and validated in a simulation study. Further, additional simulations and gaze-contingent invisible boundary experiments were used to study the cognitive mechanisms underlying skipping. Overall, the results support the plausibility of dynamic adjustment of saccade length in word-spaced orthographies. In the future, the present regression formula-based computational model will allow a straightforward implementation of influences of current and next word content (visual, orthographic, or contextual) on saccade length computation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-453
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date8 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Eye movement control
  • computational modeling
  • reading
  • word length
  • saccade length

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012

  • 501 Psychology

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