Reading-related oculomotor testing and training protocols for acquired brain injury in humans

Brain Res Brain Res Protoc. 2004 Nov;14(1):1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresprot.2004.06.002.


Many individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) report reading problems of oculomotor origin. These may include frequent loss of place, skipping of lines and difficulty shifting to the next line of print. We describe two protocols for the testing and training of reading-related eye movements in adult individuals with ABI (traumatic brain injury [TBI] and stroke with hemianopia), who experience oculomotor-based symptoms when reading. These protocols use objective eye movement recording techniques and computer-based stimulus presentation and analysis. One protocol tests and the other trains basic horizontal and vertical versional eye movements (fixation, saccades and pursuit), as well as reading eye movements using simulated single and multiple line dynamic arrays. In addition, a reading rating-scale questionnaire is administered before and after completion of training to assess subjective reading improvement. In all paradigms, the target consists of a 0.5 degrees luminous square, which is displayed on a computer monitor positioned 40 cm from the subject along the midline. All testing and training are conducted under binocular viewing conditions with optical correction in place. There are two modes of training: normal internal oculomotor visual feedback either alone (4 weeks) or in conjunction with external oculomotor auditory feedback (4 weeks) administered in a counterbalanced manner within each diagnostic group. Training is performed 1 h, twice weekly for the 8 weeks. Oculomotor testing is conducted before, midway and after training. Following training, reading-related eye movements and reading ability improved as assessed both subjectively and objectively. These protocols provide a systematic approach to the quantitative and comprehensive testing and training of reading-related eye movement skills and behaviors in the ABI population manifesting oculomotor-based reading dysfunctions. Furthermore, the training protocol results in the rapid remediation of the eye movement deficits, which appear to transfer to activities of daily living.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dyslexia, Acquired / diagnosis*
  • Dyslexia, Acquired / etiology
  • Dyslexia, Acquired / rehabilitation*
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / etiology
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Reading
  • Stroke / complications