Read sideways or not: Vertical saccade advantage in sentence reading

Ming YAN, Jinger PAN, Wenshuo CHANG, Reinhold KLIEGL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


During the reading of alphabetic scripts and scene perception, eye movements are programmed more efficiently in horizontal direction than in vertical direction. We propose that such a directional advantage may be due the overwhelming reading experience in the horizontal direction. Writing orientation is highly flexible for Traditional Chinese sentences. We compare horizontal and vertical eye movements during reading of such sentences and provide first evidence of a text-orientation effect on eye-movement control during reading. In addition to equivalent reading speed in both directions, more fine-grained analyses demonstrate a tradeoff between longer fixation durations and better fixation locations in vertical than in horizontal reading. Our results suggest that with extensive reading experience, Traditional Chinese readers can generate saccades more efficiently in vertical than in horizontal direction. Copyright © 2018 Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1911-1926
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number8
Early online dateDec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


Yan, M., Pan, J., Chang, W., & Kliegl, R. (2019). Read sideways or not: Vertical saccade advantage in sentence reading. Reading and Writing, 32(8), 1911-1926. doi: 10.1007/s11145-018-9930-x


  • Chinese
  • Eye movement
  • Reading
  • Text orientation


Dive into the research topics of 'Read sideways or not: Vertical saccade advantage in sentence reading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.