Eye movements during the handwriting of words: Individually and within sentences Academic Article uri icon


  • Handwriting, a complex motor process involves the coordination of both the upper limb and visual system. The gaze behavior that occurs during the handwriting process is an area that has been little studied. This study investigated the eye-movements of adults during writing and reading tasks. Eye and handwriting movements were recorded for six different words over three different tasks. The results compared reading and handwriting the same words, a between condition comparison and a comparison between the two handwriting tasks. Compared to reading, participants produced more fixations during handwriting tasks and the average fixation durations were longer. When reading fixations were found to be mostly around the center of word, whereas fixations when writing appear to be made for each letter in a written word and were located around the base of letters and flowed in a left to right direction. Between the two writing tasks more fixations were made when words were written individually compared to within sentences, yet fixation durations were no different. Correlation of the number of fixations made to kinematic variables revealed that horizontal size and road length held a strong correlation with the number of fixations made by participants.

publication date

  • 2015