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Optom Vis Sci. 2000 Jan;77(1):34-9.

Reading with eccentric fixation is faster in inferior visual field than in left visual field.

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Vision Sciences Research Institute, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.



People with central field loss tend to fixate so that information falls in the inferior or left visual field. Studies of reading from a page of text suggest that using inferior field is advantageous relative to using left visual field. In this study, we investigated whether reading without eye movements in normal peripheral vision is better when text is presented in inferior or left visual field.


Reading rates were determined for retinally stabilized rapid serial visual presentation sentences of seven letter sizes, presented at 5 degrees in inferior and left visual field of six normal observers.


When print size is appropriately magnified for peripheral viewing, reading speed in inferior field is faster than in left visual field. There is no significant difference between inferior and left visual field in the print size required to reach maximum reading speed.


For reading tasks not involving eye movements, there is an advantage in eccentrically fixating such that text falls in inferior rather than left visual field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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