Reading and Language Research
Eye tracking is a scientific research methodology used to understand human cognitive processes and behavioral patterns, as we perceive, process, and comprehend language.
Why use eye tracking
Eye movement data provide valuable insight into written language comprehension. It helps understand language processing at various levels of analysis within the sentence: character, syllable, word, phrase, or sentence.
In educational psychology, eye tracking can prove to be a great tool to gain insights into learning behavior, cognitive load, and engagement. The results help effectively design, evaluate, and improve educational materials and learning situations.
Moreover, eye tracking methodology can be used to reveal atypical reading patterns. It provides a robust source of insight into conditions, therefore opening the possibility of an objective, unobtrusive diagnostic tool for learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
What does eye tracking data tell us?
Eye movement analysis allows for objective insight into text processing, by providing information about the duration of visual attention assigned to specific text parts at the level of phrase, word, or even character.
- Skipping to read a unit may indicate ease of processing due to very high predictability in the given context.
- Longer reading times may indicate confusion, or difficulty to comprehend.
- Long regressions (more than 10 letter spaces back along the line or to another line) may indicate difficulty in comprehending or incorporating a unit into the previous context.
Products and services
Screen-based eye trackers
Tobii Pro Spectrum captures gaze data at speeds up to 1200 Hz. It is our most advanced eye tracking platform designed for extensive studies into human behavior and cognitive processing, as well as the mechanics of the fastest eye movements. The system maintains high accuracy, precision, and tracking robustness during subjects’ natural head movements in all directions.
Tobii Pro Fusion is a fully portable, USB connected eye tracker offered at sampling frequencies of up to 250 Hz, to support lab-standard reading experiments in schools, libraries, and other locations where participants are easier to access.
Wearable eye trackers
Tobii Pro Glasses 3 is our newest wearable eye tracker, for high-quality research in natural environments. It enables the study of real-world perceptions and interactions, as well as mobile device interfaces, wayfinding, etc.
Data acquired from both our wearable and screen-based solutions can be analyzed using Tobii Pro Lab, a scientific software platform that meets the demands of different research scenarios with precise timing accuracy. Pro Lab provides a visual user interface and dedicated features that guide the researcher through the entire research workflow. For example, the automatically generated AOIs at a character, word, or sentence level in the text stimulus allows for the extraction of common reading-specific metrics. Pro Lab also offers the ability to sync with other biometric data sources.
Tobii Pro eye trackers are designed to capture high-quality eye tracking data while allowing for natural head movements. However, some experiments may benefit from gently stabilizing the participant’s head position by using a chin rest to help reduce artifacts in the gaze signal which can be caused by head movements.