Brain Topography

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 640–660 | Cite as

An Eye Fixation-Related Potential Study in Two Reading Tasks: Reading to Memorize and Reading to Make a Decision

  • Aline Frey
  • Benoît Lemaire
  • Laurent Vercueil
  • Anne Guérin-Dugué
Original Paper


We investigated how two different reading tasks, namely reading to memorize [Read & Memorize (RM)] and reading to decide whether a text was relevant to a given topic [Read & Decide (RD)], modulated both eye movements (EM) and brain activity. To this end, we set up an ecological paradigm using the eye fixation-related potentials (EFRP) technique, in which participants freely moved their eyes to process short paragraphs, while their electroencephalography (EEG) activity was recorded in synchronization with their EM. A general linear model was used to estimate at best EFRP, taking account of the overlap between adjacent potentials, and more precisely with the potential elicited at text onset, as well as saccadic potentials. Our results showed that EM patterns were top-down modulated by different task demands. More interestingly, in both tasks, we observed slow-wave potentials that gradually increased across the first eye fixations. These slow waves were larger in the RD task than in the RM task, specifically over the left hemisphere. These results suggest that the decision-making process during reading in the RD task engendered a greater memory load in working memory than that generated in a classic reading task. The significance of these findings is discussed in the light of recent theories and models of working memory processing.


Reading Eye movements (EM) Working memory (WM) Eye fixation-related potentials (EFRP) EEG Slow wave potentials General linear model (GLM) 



The authors thank the “Délégation à la Recherche Clinique et à l’Innovation” of Grenoble “Centre Hospitalier Universitaire” (CHU) for its role in the ethics committee, particularly Beatrice Portal and Dominique Garin. EEG/eye-tracker co-registration was performed at the IRMaGe Neurophysiology facility in Grenoble (France), which was partly funded by the French program “Investissement d’Avenir” run by the “Agence Nationale pour la Recherche” (grant ‘Infrastructure d’Avenir en Biologie Santé’ - ANR-11-INBS-0006). The present study was part-funded by grants from the “Pôle Grenoble Cognition” (PGC_AAP2014), and by a grant from the LabEx PERSYVAL-Lab (ANR-11-LABX-0025-01).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aline Frey
    • 1
  • Benoît Lemaire
    • 2
  • Laurent Vercueil
    • 3
    • 4
  • Anne Guérin-Dugué
    • 5
  1. 1.CHArt Laboratory, ESPE of the Créteil Academy, University of East-Paris CréteilLivry-GarganFrance
  2. 2.Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, LPNCGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Inserm, CHU Grenoble Alpes, GINGrenobleFrance
  4. 4.EFSN, PPNR, CHU Grenoble Alpes38043France
  5. 5.Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-labGrenobleFrance

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