People with central-field loss must use peripheral vision for reading. Previous studies have shown that reading performance in peripheral vision can improve with extensive practice on a trigram letter-recognition task. The present study compared training on this task with training on two other character-based tasks (lexical-decision and Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) reading) which might plausibly produce more improvement in peripheral reading speed. Twenty-eight normally-sighted young adults were trained at 10° in the lower visual field in a pre/post design. All three training methods produced significant improvements in reading speed, with average gains of 39% for lexical-decision, 54% for trigram letter-recognition, and 72% for RSVP training. Although the RSVP training was most effective, the lexical-decision task has the advantage of easy self administration making it more practical for home-based training.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by NIH Grant EY002934 to Gordon E. Legge and EY012810 to Susana T.L. Chung. We would like to thank Peter Westlake for his help with the data collection and Tiana Bochsler for editorial assistance.
- Perceptual learning
- Peripheral vision
- Reading speed
- Visual span
- Visual training