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Eye Movements During Reading and Cerebral Palsy

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Recent research investigated the extent to which the motor impairments in adults with cerebral palsy affected their ability to read. Using an eye-tracking system, eye movements were recorded during a reading task (read out loud 1-5 excerpts from children’s books) in 31 adults diagnosed with cerebral palsy and in 10 healthy controls.
The results indicated the following:
1. In comparison to the control group readers, the adults with cerebral palsy took longer to read the excerpts; made more saccades, fixations, and regressions; and made shorter saccades.
2. Average fixation times were similar between the 2 groups, but the average saccade duration was significantly longer for the cerebral palsy group, as a function of the degree of severity of motor impairment.
3. The fixation times were not a determinant of the level of text comprehension achieved by the adults with cerebral palsy.
The researchers suggest that individuals with cerebral palsy may experience difficulties in searching for words during reading.
Reference: Lampe R, Turova V, Blumenstein T, Alves-Pinto A. Eye movement during reading in young adults with cerebral palsy measured with eye tracking. Postgrad Med. 2014 Sep;126(5):146-58. do I: 10.3810/pgm.2014.09.2809
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