Effects of flanker type and position on foveal letter recognition [version 1; referees

1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Our ability to identify a foveally viewed letter at resolution threshold reduces when flankers are placed at a certain distance from it, compared to when it is presented on its own. In this study, we investigated how type and position of flankers influences foveal letter recognition. We measured participants' performance to identify unflanked Sheridan-Gardiner letters (A, H, O, U, T, V or X), using a seven-alternative-forced-choice paradigm with the method of constant stimuli to obtain 80-90% correct response. Performance was measured again to identify a target letter in the presence of different flanker types. Flankers were bars and letters (placed either to the left and right of the target, above and below the target or on four sides of the target), and a surrounding box. Separation between the target letter and flankers varied between zero (abutting) and ten stroke widths (two letter sizes). For all flanker types, separation between the target ad the flankers significantly influenced performance (all p < 0.0001). Flankers abutting the target and at separation of one stroke width caused the largest reduction in performance, regardless of flanker type. For bar flankers, the largest drop in performance (up to 50 percent) occurred with bars placed on all four sides of the target. For letter flankers, flankers placed above and below the target reduced performance as much as four surrounding flankers. At separation of one stroke width, flanking letters and bars caused a further 10% reduction in performance than a surrounding box. Our results would have significant implications on the design of crowded visual acuity charts, especially those that are available on the market, which have different crowding features between them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1013
JournalF1000Research
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Stroke
Crowding
Aptitude
Visual Acuity
Recognition (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

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title = "Effects of flanker type and position on foveal letter recognition [version 1; referees: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]",
abstract = "Our ability to identify a foveally viewed letter at resolution threshold reduces when flankers are placed at a certain distance from it, compared to when it is presented on its own. In this study, we investigated how type and position of flankers influences foveal letter recognition. We measured participants' performance to identify unflanked Sheridan-Gardiner letters (A, H, O, U, T, V or X), using a seven-alternative-forced-choice paradigm with the method of constant stimuli to obtain 80-90{\%} correct response. Performance was measured again to identify a target letter in the presence of different flanker types. Flankers were bars and letters (placed either to the left and right of the target, above and below the target or on four sides of the target), and a surrounding box. Separation between the target letter and flankers varied between zero (abutting) and ten stroke widths (two letter sizes). For all flanker types, separation between the target ad the flankers significantly influenced performance (all p < 0.0001). Flankers abutting the target and at separation of one stroke width caused the largest reduction in performance, regardless of flanker type. For bar flankers, the largest drop in performance (up to 50 percent) occurred with bars placed on all four sides of the target. For letter flankers, flankers placed above and below the target reduced performance as much as four surrounding flankers. At separation of one stroke width, flanking letters and bars caused a further 10{\%} reduction in performance than a surrounding box. Our results would have significant implications on the design of crowded visual acuity charts, especially those that are available on the market, which have different crowding features between them.",
author = "Hairol, {Mohd `Izzuddin} and Omair, {Qazi Mohamad} and {Malkeet Singh}, {Sharanjeet Kaur}",
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N2 - Our ability to identify a foveally viewed letter at resolution threshold reduces when flankers are placed at a certain distance from it, compared to when it is presented on its own. In this study, we investigated how type and position of flankers influences foveal letter recognition. We measured participants' performance to identify unflanked Sheridan-Gardiner letters (A, H, O, U, T, V or X), using a seven-alternative-forced-choice paradigm with the method of constant stimuli to obtain 80-90% correct response. Performance was measured again to identify a target letter in the presence of different flanker types. Flankers were bars and letters (placed either to the left and right of the target, above and below the target or on four sides of the target), and a surrounding box. Separation between the target letter and flankers varied between zero (abutting) and ten stroke widths (two letter sizes). For all flanker types, separation between the target ad the flankers significantly influenced performance (all p < 0.0001). Flankers abutting the target and at separation of one stroke width caused the largest reduction in performance, regardless of flanker type. For bar flankers, the largest drop in performance (up to 50 percent) occurred with bars placed on all four sides of the target. For letter flankers, flankers placed above and below the target reduced performance as much as four surrounding flankers. At separation of one stroke width, flanking letters and bars caused a further 10% reduction in performance than a surrounding box. Our results would have significant implications on the design of crowded visual acuity charts, especially those that are available on the market, which have different crowding features between them.

AB - Our ability to identify a foveally viewed letter at resolution threshold reduces when flankers are placed at a certain distance from it, compared to when it is presented on its own. In this study, we investigated how type and position of flankers influences foveal letter recognition. We measured participants' performance to identify unflanked Sheridan-Gardiner letters (A, H, O, U, T, V or X), using a seven-alternative-forced-choice paradigm with the method of constant stimuli to obtain 80-90% correct response. Performance was measured again to identify a target letter in the presence of different flanker types. Flankers were bars and letters (placed either to the left and right of the target, above and below the target or on four sides of the target), and a surrounding box. Separation between the target letter and flankers varied between zero (abutting) and ten stroke widths (two letter sizes). For all flanker types, separation between the target ad the flankers significantly influenced performance (all p < 0.0001). Flankers abutting the target and at separation of one stroke width caused the largest reduction in performance, regardless of flanker type. For bar flankers, the largest drop in performance (up to 50 percent) occurred with bars placed on all four sides of the target. For letter flankers, flankers placed above and below the target reduced performance as much as four surrounding flankers. At separation of one stroke width, flanking letters and bars caused a further 10% reduction in performance than a surrounding box. Our results would have significant implications on the design of crowded visual acuity charts, especially those that are available on the market, which have different crowding features between them.

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