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Rosemary Le, Nathan Witthoft, Michal Ben-Shachar, Brian Wandell; The field of view available to the ventral occipito-temporal reading circuitry. Journal of Vision 2017;17(4):6. doi: 10.1167/17.4.6.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Skilled reading requires rapidly recognizing letters and word forms; people learn this skill best for words presented in the central visual field. Measurements over the last decade have shown that when children learn to read, responses within ventral occipito-temporal cortex (VOT) become increasingly selective to word forms. We call these regions the VOT reading circuitry (VOTRC). The portion of the visual field that evokes a response in the VOTRC is called the field of view (FOV). We measured the FOV of the VOTRC and found that it is a small subset of the entire field of view available to the human visual system. For the typical subject, the FOV of the VOTRC in each hemisphere is contralaterally and foveally biased. The FOV of the left VOTRC extends ∼9° into the right visual field and ∼4° into the left visual field along the horizontal meridian. The FOV of the right VOTRC is roughly mirror symmetric to that of the left VOTRC. The size and shape of the FOV covers the region of the visual field that contains relevant information for reading English. It may be that the size and shape of the FOV, which varies between subjects, will prove useful in predicting behavioral aspects of reading.
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