Visually impaired observers read dynamically displayed text faster than text displayed in a normal page view. The goal of this study was to compare reading rates from two dynamic-presentation methods that have been proposed to facilitate reading from computer-based displays. Prior research has shown that both normally sighted and low-vision observers read text displayed to the same location, one word at a time [known as rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP)], faster than a page of text. A similar comparison with text scrolled continuously across the screen also shows faster reading for low-vision patients, but the relative change from a standard page view is substantially less (15% faster for the scroll display versus 80% faster for RSVP). In this study we directly compared these techniques. For those with normal vision, reading from the RSVP display was 1.3 times faster than reading from the scroll display [t(9) = 3.32, P = 0.009]. Although the difference in reading rates for the visually impaired group did not reach statistical significance, as a group they read 13% slower from the RSVP than from the scroll display.
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