A review of the neurophysiological literature suggests that the magnocellular pathway has adequate spatial-frequency and contrast sensitivity to perceive text under normal contrast conditions (>10%) and also is suppressed by red light. Results from three experiments involving color and reading show that red light impairs reading performance under normal luminance contrast conditions. However in a fourth experiment, isoluminant color text, designed to selectively activate the parvocellular pathway, is easier to read under red light. These discrepant results suggest that the magnocellular pathway is the dominant visual pathway for text perception. Implications for reading models and developmental dyslexia are discussed. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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