Low vision reading with sequential word presentation

Vision Research
Gary S Rubin, K Turano

Abstract

Individuals with scotomas in the center of their visual fields usually read much more slowly than visually impaired individuals without central scotomas. This study determines the extent to which inefficient eye movements could account for this difference. Using a technique described previously [Rubin and Turano (1992) Vision Research, 32, 895-902] text was presented sequentially, one word at a time at the same location in the visual field. Reading performance for rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) was compared to conventional text presentation (PAGE) in 14 subjects with dense central scotomas (central field loss, CFL) and 9 without central scotomas (noCFL). Reading rates were faster with RSVP compared to PAGE, but CFL subjects improved less (by a factor of 1.5 +/- 0.41) than noCFL subjects (by a factor of 2.1 +/- 0.38). When reading rate (words/min) was converted to average word duration (msec/word) the reduction in word duration for RSVP compared to PAGE text averaged 150 msec for normal subjects, 171 msec for noCFL subjects, and 250 msec for CFL subjects. We hypothesized that the reduction in word duration was attributable to a reduced number of saccades/word. We confirmed this hypothesis by measuring the number of sacc...Continue Reading

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