There are more than 3.5 million Americans with low vision, most of whom have reading difficulties. The primary purpose of this proposal is to evaluate the importance of perceptual training and plasticity of the visual system to reading rehabilitation, particularly for people with macular degeneration.Our research indicates that decrease in the size of the visual span is a key factor explaining reduced reading speed in low vision. The visual span is the number of letters that are identified in a single glance during reading. We have found that perceptual training in normal peripheral vision can enlarge the visual span with a corresponding increase in reading speed. In a series of psychophysical studies, we will assess the relevance of this finding for rehabilitation in young and old subjects with normal and low vision. We will also ask how spatial attention and positional signals influence the size of the visual span.The potential for vision rehabilitation depends on the plasticity of the visual brain following eye disease. In a series of fMRI experiments, we will study low-vision subjects to 1) evaluate changes in retinotopic mapping in the visual cortex, and 2) ask whether visual cortex participates in tactile perception.In a third series, we will conduct secondary analyses on two large sets of well-characterized low-vision reading data (MNREAD) test), from cataract and macular-degeneration patients. We will use these data to 1) analyze the relationships between properties of reading vision and clinical measures of visual impairment; 2) develop a new reading ability scale for quantifying overall reading capacity, and 3) analyze the relationship between reading ability and important non-visual factors including cognitive status and mental-health status.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Visual Sciences B Study Section (VISB)
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Oberdorfer, Michael
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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He, Yingchen; Kwon, MiYoung; Legge, Gordon E (2018) Common constraints limit Korean and English character recognition in peripheral vision. J Vis 18:5
Gupta, Anshul; Mesik, Juraj; Engel, Stephen A et al. (2018) Beneficial Effects of Spatial Remapping for Reading With Simulated Central Field Loss. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 59:1105-1112
Xiong, Ying-Zi; Lorsung, Ethan A; Mansfield, John Stephen et al. (2018) Fonts Designed for Macular Degeneration: Impact on Reading. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 59:4182-4189
Granquist, Christina; Wu, Yueh-Hsun; Gage, Rachel et al. (2018) How People with Low Vision Achieve Magnification in Digital Reading. Optom Vis Sci 95:711-719
Xiong, Ying-Zi; Calabrèse, Aurélie; Cheong, Allen M Y et al. (2018) Reading Acuity as a Predictor of Low-Vision Reading Performance. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 59:4798-4803
He, Yingchen; Baek, Sori; Legge, Gordon E (2018) Korean reading speed: Effects of print size and retinal eccentricity. Vision Res 150:8-14
Calabrèse, Aurélie; To, Long; He, Yingchen et al. (2018) Comparing performance on the MNREAD iPad application with the MNREAD acuity chart. J Vis 18:8
Wang, Hui; Legge, Gordon E (2018) Comparing the minimum spatial-frequency content for recognizing Chinese and alphabet characters. J Vis 18:1
Husk, Jesse S; Yu, Deyue (2017) Learning to recognize letters in the periphery: Effects of repeated exposure, letter frequency, and letter complexity. J Vis 17:3
Calabrèse, Aurélie; Liu, Tingting; Legge, Gordon E (2017) Does Vertical Reading Help People with Macular Degeneration: An Exploratory Study. PLoS One 12:e0170743

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