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Shorter Lines Facilitate Reading in Those Who Struggle

Figure 12

Schematic illustration of effects of attention and crowding in effective and ineffective readers.

In typical readers, attention (grey oval) is primarily directed to the direction of reading, to provide a parafoveal preview benefit, and reduce attention to words previously inspected. In dyslexia, we propose that sluggish attention shifting causes attention to be slow to disengage from previously fixated locations, effectively spreading attention to the left of the fixated word. Given that crowding (indicated with stippling) is more severe in dyslexia, text perceived to the left is likely to be misperceived, increasing the potential for confusion.

Figure 12