City Research Online

Learning to Read Vertical Text in Peripheral Vision

Subramanian, A., Legge, G., Wagoner, G. H. & Yu, D. (2014). Learning to Read Vertical Text in Peripheral Vision. Optometry and Vision Science, 91(9), pp. 1097-1105. doi: 10.1097/opx.0000000000000344


Purpose: English–language text is almost always written horizontally. Text can be formatted to run vertically, but this is seldom used. Several studies have found that horizontal text can be read faster than vertical text in the central visual field. No studies have investigated the peripheral visual field. Studies have also concluded that training can improve reading speed in the peripheral visual field for horizontal text. We aimed to establish whether the horizontal vertical differences are maintained and if training can improve vertical reading in the peripheral visual field.

Methods: Eight normally sighted young adults participated in the first study. RSVP reading speed was measured for horizontal and vertical text in the central visual field and at 10°eccentricity in the upper or lower (horizontal text), and right or left (vertical text)visual fields. Twenty-one normally sighted young adults split equally between 2 training and 1 control group participated in the second study. Training consisted of RSVP reading either using vertical text in the left visual field or horizontal text in the inferior visual field. Subjects trained daily over 4 days. Pre and post horizontal and vertical RSVP reading speeds were carried out for all groups. For the training groups these measurements were repeated 1 week and 1 month post training.

Results: Prior to training, RSVP reading speeds were faster for horizontal text in the central and peripheral visual fields when compared to vertical text. Training vertical reading improved vertical reading speeds by an average factor of 2.8. There was partial transfer of training to the opposite (right) hemifield. The training effects were retained for up to a month.

Conclusions: RSVP training can improve RSVP vertical text reading in peripheral vision. These findings may have implications for patients with macular degeneration or hemianopic field loss.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Optometry and Vision Science.
Publisher Keywords: Vertical Text, Horizontal text, Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP), Visual Span, Peripheral Visual Field, Macular Degeneration
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Learning to Read Vertical Text in Peripheral Visionv2.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (265kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login