The Usability Company used eye tracking technology to determine users web page behaviour.
Studies found that people in general navigate websites following similar patterns. For instance we all prefer to browse information that is formatted vertically as opposed to horizontally, much like the formatting of a magazine and newspaper. We also prefer single lines of text instead of large paragraphs.
The study also discovered that site visitors focus on the center of the webpage first and then track up to the top left hand corner where they expect to find a navigational point or site logo.
There is also mention of the fact that the most successful sites on the web follow a similar layout of left hand navigation and a clickable logo in the top left hand corner. However the report did not mention whether these users where new to web page browsing or frequent users, in which case these users would expect the navigation to be on the left as this is the most common layout.
The report is available as a PDF download from The Usability Company website.