The mediation of eye movements by spoken language

Gerry T.M. Altmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199539789
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The mediation of eye movements by spoken language

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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Many factors can influence eye movements around a visual scene. Here, we consider the influence of spoken language. The first part of the chapter reviews a range of studies which illustrate how eye movements can illuminate aspects of spoken language understanding. The second presents a hypothesis of how spoken language mediates visual attention. The chapter then considers how this mediation might depend on the participant’s goals, including consideration of what the timing of these eye movements might, or might not, tell us about their generalizability. Methodological issues, including how to depict the dynamically changing eye movement record, and how to analyse it, are considered next. The chapter concludes with some issues that are likely to dominate the field in future years.

Keywords: language-mediated; eye movements; spoken language; methodological issues; psycholinguistic process

Article.  16922 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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