A New Font, Specifically Designed for Peripheral Vision, Improves Peripheral Letter and Word Recognition, but Not Eye-Mediated Reading Performance

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Abstract

Reading speed is dramatically reduced when readers cannot use their central vision. This is because low visual acuity and crowding negatively impact letter recognition in the periphery. In this study, we designed a new font (referred to as the Eido font) in order to reduce interletter similarity and consequently to increase peripheral letter recognition performance. We tested this font by running five experiments that compared the Eido font with the standard Courier font. Letter spacing and x-height were identical for the two monospaced fonts. Six normally-sighted subjects used exclusively their peripheral vision to run two aloud reading tasks (with eye movements), a letter recognition task (without eye movements), a word recognition task (without eye movements) and a lexical decision task. Results show that reading speed was not significantly different between the Eido and the Courier font when subjects had to read single sentences with a round simulated gaze-contingent central scotoma (10° diameter). In contrast, Eido significantly decreased perceptual errors in peripheral crowded letter recognition (-30% errors on average for letters briefly presented at 6° eccentricity) and in peripheral word recognition (-32% errors on average for words briefly presented at 6° eccentricity).

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APA

Bernard, J. B., Aguilar, C., & Castet, E. (2016). A New Font, Specifically Designed for Peripheral Vision, Improves Peripheral Letter and Word Recognition, but Not Eye-Mediated Reading Performance. PLoS ONE, 11(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152506

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