Abstract

A text was replaced with a visual mask for a fixed duration every time the reader made a saccade. The threshold duration was measured when the mask was presented at the beginning of a saccade or a fixation, or at a certain delay after the onset of a fixation. The effect of the mask on reading time, as well as on the subjective legibility of the text, was also investigated. It was shown that saccadic suppression exists in reading; subjects are not affected by a mask as long as it is inserted during the saccade. The visual sensitivity is recovered only partially at the initial part of fixation and is recovered fully approximately 70 msec after the beginning of the fixation. The visual information can be extracted during a later part of the fixation period as efficiently as or even more efficiently than during the early part of the fixation.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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