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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2006 Sep-Oct;43(6):749-60.

Retinal locus for scanning text.

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  • 1Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Kansas City, MO, USA.


A method of mapping the retinal location of text during reading is described in which text position is plotted cumulatively on scanning laser ophthalmoscope retinal images. Retinal locations that contain text most often are the brightest in the cumulative plot, and locations that contain text least often are the darkest. In this way, the retinal area that most often contains text is determined. Text maps were plotted for eight control subjects without vision loss and eight subjects with central scotomas from macular degeneration. Control subjects' text maps showed that the fovea contained text most often. Text maps of five of the subjects with scotomas showed that they used the same peripheral retinal area to scan text and fixate. Text maps of the other three subjects with scotomas showed that they used separate areas to scan text and fixate. Retinal text maps may help evaluate rehabilitative strategies for training individuals with central scotomas to use a particular retinal area to scan text.

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