Tracking is a term used by some people to describe the eye movements made during reading. Many years ago there was a theory that some reading difficulties were caused by "poor tracking". The consnsus is that this was subsequently shown ito be incorrect. In fact, rather than causing reading difficulties, poor tracking eye movements are the effect of poor reading, poor concentration or fidgitennes.

In the 1980's Dr Barnard had built an infra-red eye movement recorder to enable him to assess eye movements of children referred with reading difficulties. Dr Barnard's PhD research used this eye-movement recording system to study eye movements during a clinical test called the cover test.  Once the evidence was compelling that checking tracking did not assist in the diagnosis of causes of reading problems, the practice ceased using this test.

  • Dyslexics show higher prevalence of regressions. These are a correlate and not a cause of reading difficulties
  • Peer-reviewed evidence-base shows that tracking tests such is DEM are not an indicator of reading difficulties.  
  • There is little or no evidence to suggest tracking exercises improve reading performance
A study by Medland C, Walter H, Woodhouse JM (2010)   supports the hypothesis that abnormal eye movements are more likely to be an effect and not the cause of reading difficulties. They also conclude that the DEM test should not be used to diagnose eye movement difficulties in a patient with poor reading ability.