Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

How tight is the link between lexical processing and saccade programs?

Reinhold Kliegl a1 and Ralf Engbert a2
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, 14415, Germany
a2 Department of Psychology and Center for Dynamics of Complex Systems, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, 14415, Germany


We question the assumption of serial attention shifts and the assumption that saccade programs are initiated or canceled only after stage one of word identification. Evidence: (1) Fixation durations prior to skipped words are not consistently higher compared to those prior to nonskipped words. (2) Attentional modulation of microsaccade rate might occur after early visual processing. Saccades are probably triggered by attentional selection.