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E-Readers Can Benefit Some Dyslexia Patients

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Dyslexic readers who use e-readers are able to read more easily and with greater comprehension, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One. The researchers note that e-readers, which allow readers to view smaller groups of words than a book, combat "visual crowding," an obstacle for many dyslexic people.

Many dyslexic readers suffer from a shorter visual span (i.e. the number of letters that can be processed by the brain) and less efficient eye movement, making the e-reader an ideal tool.

"We believe that the e-readers are effective for some people with dyslexia because these people have difficulty directing their visual attention to the portions of words and sentences they look at as they read," Matthew H. Schneps of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Laboratory for Visual Learning said.

"It's almost as if they're being distracted by the text in the neighborhood of the words they are trying to look at and read, and our new research will be directed at testing this hypothesis."

Simplifying the text via e-reader improved comprehension in a third of the study's participants.

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