Eye Movements and Reading



A post on Elite Daily last week had the vision and reading community atwitter about the idea of an app that could bludgeon your eyes and brain into speed reading.

The primary motivation for Spritz reading appears to be for mobile devices, particularly this example of a Samsung watch display for rapid reading emails or text messages.

Here is the science behind the streaming applications of ORP, or the Optimal Recognition Point.  The red letter cues the brain as to where  to direct the fixation point of the eyes to minimize if not eliminate saccadic eye movements.



There is a nice blog that accompanies Spritz explaining how foveal vision functions in reading compared to parafoveal vision.



Well … that depiction of parafoveal function in reading may be a bit exaggerated.  There really is a parafoveal preview of adjacent words that gives you a bit more information about upcoming words, as seen in this nice review paper in Neuropsychologia.



I’m not sure how rapidly this kind of turbo word presentation will become the norm in e-Reading of various iterations, or how widely it will apply to individuals with dyslexia of a developmental or acquired nature.  I do know that this kind of reading where eye movements are kept to a minimum is built into a software training program that we’ve been using for a number of years in our therapy practice – Dynamic Reader.  This phase of reading in the program is called Moving Text Dynamic Reading.  I don’t view this as a tool that is used in isolation.  Rather it has been part of an integration program of optimizing visual factors in reading.

Dynamic Reader


Moving Text Dynamic Reading
The material to be read remains in the center of the screen and does not move down the page from top to bottom, therefore saccadic eye movements are not required. This prevents the loss of place and concentration that may occur when the print moves down to the next line. This step introduces the concept of Dynamic Reading with its emphasis on fluency, and reduction of fixations & regressions.


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