Eye movements and reading with large print and optical magnifiers in macular disease

Bowers, Alex R., Lovie-Kitchin, Jan E., & Woods, Russell L. (2001) Eye movements and reading with large print and optical magnifiers in macular disease. Optometry and Vision Science, 78(5), pp. 325-334.

Abstract

Purpose: Reading rate has been the main performance measure in studies that have compared reading with large print and optical magnifiers; eye movement characteristics have not been considered. We compared both eye movement characteristics and reading rates for subjects with macular disease reading without and with a range of low-vision devices. Methods: Silent reading rate and eye movement characteristics for text passages at critical print size of 21 subjects aged 14 to 88 years with macular disease were measured with and without their preferred low-vision device. Saccadic frequency was determined from a sequencing task comprising five letters each separated by 5 degrees. Eye movements were recorded using an infrared limbal reflection system.
Results: There were no significant differences in reading rate, fixation durations, saccade numbers per word, or percent retrace time when using a low-vision device compared with reading without a low-vision device. Saccadic frequency in the sequencing task was predictive of reading performance with and without a low-vision device.
Conclusion: When reading at critical print size, in terms of reading rate or saccades per word, there was no advantage to using large print over an optical low-vision device.

Impact and interest:

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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 5638
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal’s web page (see link) 12 months after publication. For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details: j.lovie-kitchin@qut.edu.au
Additional URLs:
Keywords: reading, eye movements, macular disease, magnifiers, age
ISSN: 1538-9235
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Deposited On: 01 Dec 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 18:25

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