Characteristics of Eye movements in Music Reading Expertise: A Meta-analysis


Journal Article


Perra, J., Latimier, A., Poulin-Charronnat, B. Baccino, T., & Drai-Zerbib, V. ,




Characteristics of Eye movements in Music Reading Expertise: A Meta-analysis

Journal / book / conference

Journal of Eye Movement Research


Since the seminal studies of Jacobsen (1941) and Weaver (1943), eye-movement measurement has been used to investigate music reading and to understand how musicians integrate musical scores in order to perform accurately. A non-negligible part of the literature on the psychology of music used eye tracking to focus on the effect of expertise during music reading. The current exploratory meta-analysis is an attempt to determine which eye movement measures are more expertise dependent during music reading. We carried out a meta-analysis on 12 studies comparing the eye movements of expert versus nonexpert musicians. The total dataset of 61 comparisons was divided into four subsets, each concerning one eye-movement variable (i.e., fixation duration, number of fixations, saccade amplitude, and gaze duration). We used a variance estimation method to aggregate the effect sizes and meta-regressions to conduct exploratory moderator analyses. The results support the robust finding of reduced fixation duration in expert musicians (Subset 1, g = -0.70). Due to low statistical power because of limited effect sizes, the results on the number of fixations, saccade amplitude and gaze duration were not reliable. The need for consistency in the experimental methodology is discussed.






Expertise; music reading; eye tracking; meta-analysis

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