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Age-related differences in the legibility of degraded text

Overview of attention for article published in Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, December 2016
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Age-related differences in the legibility of degraded text
Published in
Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, December 2016
DOI 10.1186/s41235-016-0023-6
Pubmed ID

Benjamin Wolfe, Jonathan Dobres, Anna Kosovicheva, Ruth Rosenholtz, Bryan Reimer


Aging-related changes in the visual system diminish the capacity to perceive the world with the ease and fidelity younger adults are accustomed to. Among many consequences of this, older adults find that text that they could once read easily proves difficult to read, even with sufficient acuity correction. Building on previous work examining visual factors in legibility, we examine potential causes for these age-related effects in the absence of other ocular pathology. We asked participants to discriminate words from non-words in a lexical decision task. The stimuli participants viewed were either blurred or presented in a noise field to simulate, respectively, decreased sensitivity to fine detail (loss of acuity) and detuning of visually selective neurons. We then use the differences in performance between older and younger participants to suggest how older participants' performance could be approximated to facilitate maximally usable designs.

Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 13 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 8%
Unknown 12 92%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 3 23%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 15%
Other 1 8%
Professor 1 8%
Student > Ph. D. Student 1 8%
Other 2 15%
Unknown 3 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 5 38%
Computer Science 3 23%
Business, Management and Accounting 1 8%
Medicine and Dentistry 1 8%
Unknown 3 23%