35, Issue 10 , May 1995, Pages 1447-1458
doi:10.1016/0042-6989(95)98724-N Cite or link using doi
Copyright © 1995 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
Saccadic eye movements while reading music
and R. H. S. Carpentera,
a The Physiological Laboratory,
University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EG, England
Received 8 June
1994; revised 16 September 1994. Available online 23 February 2000.
Subjects' eye movements were measured whilst they read and performed lines of
music consisting of rhythmic information only, in conventional musical notation.
The relationship between the spatial pattern of the notes displayed and of the
fixations made in reading them is stochastic, and similar to that in ordinary
reading, but with a tendency to fixate salient details of the notation such as
notes and barlines rather than the spaces in between. Shorter notes are less
likely to be fixated than longer ones, and this is determined by their
performance length rather than their visual appearance. Despite the timing
constraints imposed by the music, the time of execution of individual saccades
appears to be entirely unrelated to the time of the execution of elements of the
performance itself. However, as the tempo of performance of a given piece of
music is increased, the average time between saccades decreases but their mean
amplitude increases. These observations suggest a new model of the oculomotor
and perceptual processes involved, in which criterion of accuracy, the scan
ending when this criterion cannot be reached, and this end-point determining the
position of the next fixation. It is proposed that the fullness of the buffer
between the perceptual and motor processes determines the strictness of the
criterion which is adopted, and hence the amplitude and timing of the eye
Author Keywords: Eye movements; Saccades; Reading;
Send feedback to ScienceDirect
Software and compilation
© 2004 ScienceDirect. All rights reserved.
ScienceDirect® is a
registered trademark of Elsevier B.V.