e-reader a boon for dyslexics: Study


Washington, Sep 19 (IANS): Dyslexics can breathe a sigh of relief. Scientists say that e-readers can help people with the disability to read easily and boost their comprehension skills.

As e-reading is fast growing as an alternative to traditional books, researchers at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Wednesday have found that convenience may not be the only benefit.

The team discovered that when e-readers were set up to display only a few words per line, some people with dyslexia could read more easily, quickly and with greater comprehension.

The findings are published in the Sep 18 issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

An element in many cases of dyslexia is called a visual attention deficit. It is marked by an inability to concentrate on letters within words or words within lines of text.

Another element is known as visual crowding - the failure to recognise letters when they are cluttered within the word.

Using short lines as on an e-reader can alleviate these issues and promote reading by reducing visual distractions within the text.

"At least a third of those with dyslexia we tested have these issues with visual attention and are helped by reading on the e-reader," said Matthew H. Schneps, director of the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and lead author of the research.

"For those who don't have these issues, the study showed that the traditional ways of displaying text are better."

  

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