Training improves reading speed in peripheral vision: Is it due to attention?

Hye Won Lee, Mi Young Kwon, Gordon E. Legge, Joshua J. Gefroh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has shown that perceptual training in peripheral vision, using a letter-recognition task, increases reading speed and letter recognition (S. T. L. Chung, G. E. Legge, & S. H. Cheung, 2004). We tested the hypothesis that enhanced deployment of spatial attention to peripheral vision explains this training effect. Subjects were pre- and post-tested with 3 tasks at 10° above and below fixation-RSVP reading speed, trigram letter recognition (used to construct visual-span profiles), and deployment of spatial attention (measured as the benefit of a pre-cue for target position in a lexical-decision task). Groups of five normally sighted young adults received 4 days of trigram letter-recognition training in upper or lower visual fields, or central vision. A control group received no training. Our measure of deployment of spatial attention revealed visual-field anisotropies; better deployment of attention in the lower field than the upper, and in the lower-right quadrant compared with the other three quadrants. All subject groups exhibited slight improvement in deployment of spatial attention to peripheral vision in the post-test, but this improvement was not correlated with training-related increases in reading speed and the size of visual-span profiles. Our results indicate that improved deployment of spatial attention to peripheral vision does not account for improved reading speed and letter recognition in peripheral vision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalJournal of vision
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Perceptual learning
  • Peripheral vision
  • Reading
  • Visual span

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