cSCAN Rounds

Eye Movements and Older Adult Readers

A wealth of evidence demonstrates adult age differences in eye movements while reading. In particular, older readers (65+ years) typically make more and longer eye fixations, longer progressive saccades (forward movements in text), more regressions (backward movements in text), skip words more often, and have longer reading times than young adult readers (18-30 years). The greater difficulty experienced by older readers may be due to changes in visual abilities that occur naturally with increased age, and which manifest predominately as a progressive decline in sensitivity for high spatial frequencies (i.e., fine visual detail). I will report several studies that used a novel spatial-frequency filtering paradigm to reveal age differences in the use of the spatial frequency content of text, and a more recent experiment that examined adult age differences in the co-ordination and accuracy of eye movements while reading.