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Learning to read makes higher demands on a child's ocular motor control system than he has ever faced before. This chapter discusses the ways in which children solve a classical perceptual problem for this purpose, the problem of maintaining a stable view of the world even though the eyes are moving all the time. To identify the position of an object in the outside world it is necessary to make rapid and reliable associations between retinal signals about its nature, and extra retinal signals indicating the direction in which the eyes are repointing at the time it is inspected. Determination of visual direction cannot be achieved by retinal signals alone. Information about the direction of gaze with respect to the centre of a subject's visual world, his “ego-centre,” is essential as well. Extraretinal cues indicating the direction of gaze are of two kinds. Proprioceptive signals are fed back from the ocular muscles and orbital tissues. © 1984, Elsevier Science & Technology. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Advances in Psychology

Publication Date





251 - 259