The distinguished contributors to this volume have been set the problem of describing how we know where to move our eyes. There is a great deal of current interest in the use of eye movement recordings to investigate various mental processes. The common theme is that variations in eye movements indicate variations in the processing of what is being perceived, whether in reading, driving or scene perception. However, a number of problems of interpretation are now emerging, and this edited volume sets out to address these problems. The book investigates controversies concerning the variations in eye movements associated with reading ability, concerning the extent to which text is used by the guidance mechanism while reading, concerning the relationship between eye movements and the control of other body movements, the relationship between what is inspected and what is perceived, and concerning the role of visual control attention in the acquisition of complex perceptual-motor skills, in addition to the nature of the guidance mechanism itself.
The origins of the volume are in discussions held at a meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCOP) that was held in Wurzburg in September 1996. The discussions concerned the landing effect in reading, an effect, that if substantiated, would provide evidence of the use of parafoveal information in eye guidance, and these discussions were explored in more detail at a small meeting in Chamonix, in February 1997. Many of the contributors to this volume were present at the meeting, but the arguments were not resolved in Chamonix either. Other leaders in the field were invited to contribute to the discussion, and this volume is the product. The argument remains unresolved, but the problem is certainly clearer.