PURPOSE. The Taylor Visagraph II uses infrared optics to assess eye movements made during reading. In this project, the Visagraph II was used to determine the reliability and repeatability of the Visagraph II data while native Japanese readers read texts written in Japanese, and to compare eye movements made by Japanese students reading paragraphs written in Kana and mixed Kanji/Kana. METHOD. Three level 1 and three level 10 Visagraph II paragraphs were professionally translated from English into Kana and mixed Kanji/Kana. They were read by 21 adults who had completed at least high school in Japan and who were currently taking college courses in the U.S. The Visagraph II provided data on reading rate, fixation, regression, and other variables for each paragraph read.
RESULTS. Reliability of Visagraph II data from the three paragraphs read in each form was analyzed by repeated measures analysis of variance. No significant differences were found between the paragraphs for Kana or mixed Kanji/Kana. However, significant differences between English norms and actual data from Kana and mixed Kanji/Kana were found. For example, there were 38 fixations/100words for the mixed Kanji/Kana paragraphs. English language norm value is only 18 fixations/100words. Also duration of fixation is longer for actual data from mixed Kanji/Kana than English norms (0.275 sec in Japanese, 0.24 sec in English).
CONCLUSIONS. The Visagraph II successfully analyzed eye movements for Kana and mixed Kanji/Kana paragraphs. This demonstrated that the Visagraph II can be used to assess reading skill in Japan for a similar system which is not currently available. The Visagraph II application should include assessing eye movements of patients with reading problem comparing reading rate for materials written in various form of Japanese.