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Reading: Visual processing, fixation and eye movements in able and disabled readers: a literature review

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Visual processing, fixation and eye movements in able and disabled readers: a literature review

Author:

Nadia Northway

Department of Vision Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, GB
About Nadia

PhD BA DBO SRO

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Abstract

Aim: To review the literature on visual aspects of reading and how fixation and eye movements are influenced in normal reading and rending disability. Method: A literature-based essay is presented that looks at the normal reading process and visual factors which affect reading in able readers and in dyslexia and Meares-Irlen syndrome (MIS).

Results: Reading using the central retina results in faster, more efficient reading; however, crowding effects may hinder reading efficiency. These effects may be more pronounced in disabled readers and may result in modifications of saccadic behaviour and fixation. Those experiencing visual stress find some types of text more difficult to read and this may disrupt fixation and saccadic eye movements.

Conclusions: Research has shown that many factors can affect reading, such as size of font, spacing of type and contrast of text; reading is always best if the central retina is used. Dyslexic readers and those with visual stress may be more easily affected by print features and this may in turn modify fixation behaviour and saccadic behaviour.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.193
How to Cite: Northway, N., 2006. Visual processing, fixation and eye movements in able and disabled readers: a literature review. British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, 3, pp.2–8. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.193
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Published on 01 Jan 2006.
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