Staff and postgraduates interested in language make use of eye-tracking technology to monitor eye movements when comprehenders are reading, or when looking at a static scene or video while listening to auditory input.
Some of the primary participants in this research are our undergraduate students, who all take part in a language study in their first year and have the opportunity to conduct their own research in their final year.
Importantly, eye-tracking has significant advantages over more traditional experimental techniques. First, it can be done without a secondary task (e.g. a button press in self-paced reading), allowing for natural reading or viewing.
Second, it provides a very rich record of looking behavior, allowing us to ascertain how many times, how long and when a word or region is fixated. For example, we can see where readers go back in a text when they are having difficulties.
Thus, the eye is indeed providing us with a window to the mind.
Undergraduate and Postgraduate students can make use of eye-tracking during their degrees. For more infomation follow the links below:
Undergraduate Masters Research degrees
Kathy Conklin and former CRAL colleagues Ana Pellicer-Sánchez and Gareth Carrol have now published their book on the use of eye-tracking in applied linguistics research. For more information, click the link below:
Eye-tracking: A Guide for Applied Linguistics Research