Psychologists find a whole new view on reading

Posted by egg3 at Nov 26, 2012 11:47 AM |
According to University of Leicester researchers, the way we read words changes as we grow older
Psychologists find a whole new view on reading

Dr Kevin Paterson

A team from our School of Psychology used an innovative method of digitally manipulating text combined with precise measures of readers’ eye movements to examine reading styles in young and old people and how they use different visual cues during reading.

The researchers, led by Dr Kevin Paterson (pictured), conducted experiments that used very precise measures of readers’ eye movements to assess how well they read lines of text that had been digitally manipulated to enhance the salience of different visual information. For instance, sometimes the text was blurred and other times the features of the individual letters were sharply defined.

The results showed that whereas young adults (18-30 years) found it easiest to read lines of text when the fine visual detail was present, this was more difficult for older adults (65+years), who found it easier to read more blurred text.

These findings support the view that older adults use a different reading strategy from younger adults and that they rely more than young adults on holistic cues to the identities of words, such as word shape.

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