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Discusses experimental research that suggests that the time required for exploring individual words is influenced by the existence of a focal position for eye fixation in each word, which, if the eye fixes on it, reduces recognition time. The latter is increased if the S's glance falls elsewhere. This phenomenon is discussed in terms of the interaction between possible ocular strategies during reading and the constraints imposed by the visual capabilities of the oculomotor system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)