Psychophysics of reading. VIII. The Minnesota Low-Vision Reading Test

Optom Vis Sci. 1989 Dec;66(12):843-53. doi: 10.1097/00006324-198912000-00008.


This is the eighth in a series of papers dealing with the role of vision in reading. In previous papers, we have evaluated the effects of stimulus and subject variables on reading rate using a drifting-text procedure. In this paper, we describe a new test of reading rate that uses static text, called the Minnesota Low-Vision Reading Test (MNread). It is microcomputer-based, and more easily set up and administered than the drifting-text procedure. It is of potential value as a standardized psychophysical test of reading and should be useful in research, clinical, and educational applications. Some types of low-vision aids rely on drifting text and others on static text. Is reading performance different for these two modes of text presentation? We measured reading rate as a function of angular character size for normal and low-vision subjects with drifting and static text. Although reading rates were highly correlated for the two modes of text presentation, normal subjects usually read static text more rapidly. The reverse was true for low-vision subjects; their reading rates for drifting text were slightly higher (average 15%) than for static text.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Microcomputers
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychophysics
  • Reading*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Vision Tests / methods*
  • Vision, Low / physiopathology*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity