Scrolling text can be an effective reading aid for patients with central vision loss. English researchers recently discovered that increased inter-word spacing with dynamic, horizontally scrolling text may further improve the reading experience for this population. They note that this may be due to a reduction in the deleterious effects of visual crowding.
The team assessed the effects of inter-word spacing on reading performance (accuracy, memory recall and speed) using single sentences of scrolling text. They conducted two separate experiments to determine whether performance measures were affected by inter-word spacing of one, two and three characters and the rate at which text was presented.
They found that reading accuracy and memory recall were significantly enhanced with triple-character inter-word spacing, independent of the text presentation rate.
The study authors note that these findings “may be of particular interest to low-vision aid developers and visual rehabilitation practitioners.”
|Harvey H, Anderson SJ, Walker R. Increased word spacing improves performance for reading scrolling text with central vision loss. Optom Vis Sci. July 16, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].|