Eye movement analysis of reading from computer displays, eReaders and printed books

Eye movement analysis of reading from computer displays, eReaders and printed books.

Zambarbieri D & Carniglia E. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2012, 32, 390–396.. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2012.00930.x

Database: Wiley Online Library

Purpose:  To compare eye movements during silent reading of three eBooks and a printed book. The three different eReading tools were a desktop PC, iPad tablet and Kindle eReader.

Methods:  Video-oculographic technology was used for recording eye movements. In the case of reading from the computer display the recordings were made by a video camera placed below the computer screen, whereas for reading from the iPad tablet, eReader and printed book the recording system was worn by the subject and had two cameras: one for recording the movement of the eyes and the other for recording the scene in front of the subject.

Results:  Data analysis provided quantitative information in terms of number of fixations, their duration, and the direction of the movement, the latter to distinguish between fixations and regressions. Mean fixation duration was different only in reading from the computer display, and was similar for the Tablet, eReader and printed book. The percentage of regressions with respect to the total amount of fixations was comparable for eReading tools and the printed book.

Conclusions:  The analysis of eye movements during reading an eBook from different eReading tools suggests that subjects’ reading behaviour is similar to reading from a printed book.