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Title: Reading with a filtered fovea : the influence of visual quality at the point of fixation during reading
Authors: Jordan, Timothy R.
McGowan, Victoria A.
Paterson, Kevin B.
First Published: 5-Sep-2012
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Citation: Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 2012, 19 (6), pp. 1078-1084
Abstract: Reading relies critically on processing text in foveal vision during brief fixational pauses, and high-quality visual input from foveal text is fundamental to theories of reading. However, the quality of visual input from foveal text that is actually functional for reading and the effects of this input on reading performance are unclear. To investigate these issues, a moving, gaze-contingent foveal filtering technique was developed to display areas of text within foveal vision that provided only coarse, medium, or fine scale visual input during each fixational pause during reading. Normal reading times were unaffected when foveal text up to three characters wide at the point of fixation provided any one visual input (coarse, medium, or fine). Wider areas of coarse visual input lengthened reading times, but reading still occurred, and normal reading times were completely unaffected when only medium or fine visual input extended across the entire fovea. Further analyses revealed that each visual input had no effect on the number of fixations made when normal text was read, that adjusting fixation durations helped preserve reading efficiency for different visual inputs, and that each visual input had virtually no effect on normal saccades. These findings indicate that, despite the resolving power of foveal vision and the emphasis placed on high-quality foveal visual input by theories of reading, normal reading functions with similar success using a range of restricted visual inputs from foveal text, even at the point of fixation. Some implications of these findings for theories of reading are discussed.
DOI Link: 10.3758/s13423-012-0307-x
ISSN: 1069-9384
eISSN: 1531-5320
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2012, Springer Verlag. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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