Scanning Characters and Reading with a Central Scotoma

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Abstract

Among the patients we tested, most of those who had lost normal macular function developed extrafoveal retinal loci which resulted in strongly preferred viewing angles for steady fixation. These patients used these extrafoveal retinal loci to scan lines of characters in patterns similar to patients with normal macular function. Although the scanning speed of these patients was adversely affected by their large size scotomas, their reading accuracy was not necessarily reduced. The assessment of scanning and reading performance in this population requires careful measurement of the visual skills involved in reading.

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