Does vertical reading help people with macular degeneration: An exploratory study

Aurelie J Calabrese, Tingting Liu, Gordon E. Legge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Individuals with macular degeneration often develop a Preferred Retinal Locus (PRL) used in place of the impaired fovea. It is known that many people adopt a PRL left of the scotoma, which is likely to affect reading by occluding text to the right of fixation. For such individuals, we examined the possibility that reading vertical text, in which words are rotated 90? with respect to the normal horizontal orientation, would be beneficial for reading. Vertically oriented words would be tangential to the scotoma instead of being partially occluded by it. Here we report the results of an exploratory study that aimed at investigating this hypothesis. We trained individuals with macular degeneration who had PRLs left of their scotoma to read text rotated 90? clockwise and presented using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). Although training resulted in improved reading of vertical text, the training did not result in reading speeds that appreciably exceeded reading speeds following training with horizontal text. These results do not support the hypothesis that people with left PRLs read faster with vertical text.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0170743
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Calabrèse et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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