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Stephanie Jainta, Anne Dehnert, Sven P. Heinrich, Wolfgang Jaschinski; Binocular Coordination during Reading of Blurred and Nonblurred Text. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(13):9416-9424. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-8237.
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Reading a text requires vergence angle adjustments, so that the images in the two eyes fall on corresponding retinal areas. Vergence adjustments bring the two retinal images into Panum's fusional area and therefore, small remaining errors or regulations do not lead to double vision. The present study evaluated dynamic and static aspects of the binocular coordination when upcoming text was blurred.
Binocular eye movements and accommodation responses were simultaneously measured for 20 participants while reading single, nonblurred sentences and while the text was blurred as if it were seen by a person in whom the combination of refraction and accommodation deviated from the stimulus plane by 0.5 D.
Text comprehension did not change, even though fixation times increased for reading blurred sentences. The disconjugacy during saccades was also not affected by blurred text presentations, but the vergence adjustment during fixations was reduced. Further, for blurred text, the overall vergence angle shifted in the exo direction, and this shift correlated with the individual heterophoria. Accommodation measures showed that the lag of accommodation was slightly larger for reading blurred sentences and that the shift in vergence angle was larger when the individual lag of accommodation was also larger.
The results suggest that reading comprehension is robust against changes in binocular coordination that result from moderate text degradation; nevertheless, these changes are likely to be linked to the development of fatigue and visual strain in near reading conditions.
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