The DUT task

A novel experimental paradigm to investigate the variability of eye movements in whole-text reading for meaning


  • Tobias Alf Kroll Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • A. Alexandre Trindade Texas Tech University
  • Amber Asikis Central Plains Center
  • Melissa Salas Lovington Municipal Schools
  • Marcy Lau East Tennessee State University
  • Chelsey Saenz Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • Madison Head Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • Chalani Prematilake East Carolina University
  • Carolyn Perry Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center



reading, eye tracking, eye movements, statistics, variability, whole texts


This article reports on the development of a novel experimental paradigm for the investigation of the statistical properties of eye movements in whole-text reading, with a focus on variability. Eye movements in reading for meaning were compared to eye movements in proofreading without comprehending, using texts as stimuli that were deemed to be difficult and uninteresting to participants, and hence to effectively preclude reading for meaning in the proofreading condition. Using a linear mixed model for a 4-way ANOVA, variability of total fixation durations and number of fixations was found to be significantly different between conditions, but only for one of the two texts in one of the two designs. This suggests that there may be a correlation between reading proficiency and variability of eye movements, but also that in order to determine this correlation, stimulus texts must be precisely tailored to the participant population.

Author Biographies

Tobias Alf Kroll, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Tobias A. Kroll, PhD, CF-SLP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX.

A. Alexandre Trindade, Texas Tech University

A. Alexandre Trindade, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

Amber Asikis, Central Plains Center

Amber Asikis, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist in Waco, TX.

Melissa Salas, Lovington Municipal Schools

Melissa Salas, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist in Lovington, NM.

Marcy Lau, East Tennessee State University

Marcy Lau, PhD, AuD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Chelsey Saenz, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Chelsey Saenz, BS is a graduate student in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX.

Madison Head, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Madison Head, BS graduated from the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX in May 2018.

Chalani Prematilake, East Carolina University

Chalani Prematilake, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at East Carolina University, Greenville, SC.

Carolyn Perry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Carolyn Perry, MS, CCC-SLP is the Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX.


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How to Cite

Kroll, T. A., Trindade, A. A., Asikis, A., Salas, M., Lau, M., Saenz, C., Head, M., Prematilake, C., & Perry, C. (2018). The DUT task: A novel experimental paradigm to investigate the variability of eye movements in whole-text reading for meaning. Journal of Research Design and Statistics in Linguistics and Communication Science, 4(2), 124–143.