Eye movement control in Chinese reading: A cross-sectional study

Ming YAN, Jinger PAN, Reinhold KLIEGL

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The present study explored the age-related changes of eye movement control in reading—that is, where to send the eyes and when to move them. Different orthographies present readers with somewhat different problems to solve, and this might, in turn, be reflected in different patterns of development of reading skill. Participants of different developmental levels (Grade 3, N = 30; Grade 5, N = 27 and adults, N = 27) were instructed to read sentences for comprehension while their eye movements were recorded. Contrary to previous findings that have been well documented indicating early maturation of saccade generation in English, current results showed that saccade generation among Chinese readers was still under development at Grade 5, although immediate lexical processing was relatively well-established. The distinct age-related changes in eye movements are attributable to certain linguistic properties of Chinese including the lack of interword spaces and word boundary uncertainty. The present study offers an example of how human eye movement adapts to the orthographic environment. Copyright © 2019 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2275-2285
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number11
Early online dateSept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Yan, M., Pan, J., & Kliegl, R. (2019). Eye movement control in Chinese reading: A cross-sectional study. Developmental Psychology, 55(11), 2275-2285. doi: 10.1037/dev0000819


  • Chinese
  • Eye movement
  • Reading
  • Development


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