Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 365–368

Asymmetry of the perceptual span in reading

  • George W. McConkie
  • Keith Rayner

DOI: 10.3758/BF03335168

Cite this article as:
McConkie, G.W. & Rayner, K. Bull. Psychon. Soc. (1976) 8: 365. doi:10.3758/BF03335168


An on-line computer technique was used to determine whether three skilled readers acquired visual information equally far to the left and right of central vision during fixations in reading. None of the subjects appeared to use visual information more than four character positions to the left of the fixation point (smaller distances were not tested), though all of them acquired visual information substantially further than that to the right. Thus, the region of useful visual information in reading is asymmetric around the fixation point.

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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • George W. McConkie
    • 1
  • Keith Rayner
    • 2
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthaca
  2. 2.University of RochesterRochester