Tuesday, 9 April 2013

What I want to understand from the Oxford-Kobe symposium

What I want to understand from the Oxford-Kobe symposium.

I want to understand my work in the context of recent research.

There is an  almost universality of the acceptance use of colour background by so many of the organisations working with and for dyslexic people including the two leading ones in the UK; The British Dyslexia Association (http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/further-information/eyes-and-dyslexia.html )and Dyslexia Action (http://dyslexiaaction.org.uk/news/now-available-dyslexia-action-shop-%E2%80%93-a4-coloured-overlays).In Canada  http://www.dyslexiaassociation.ca/francais/files/ladyslexieetlemilieudetravail.pdf)  in Germany (http://www.legasthenie-info.de/farblese.html)

My own work, and my colleagues has been developed by the use of measurement of reading performance, in terms of s reading speed , saccade length and fixation patterns, monocularly and binocularly as we change the colour background of text on a computer.

The graphs obtained are rather profound, and the benefits to individuals are considerable. I know that many of the people attending the Oxford-Kobe Symposium this week have themselves been through the protocols we developed.  I am also certain that very many of them will use a personalised, font size and font type, adjust the background colour and brightness of their computer screens.  I am also confident that many those who are present have been diagnosed as dyslexic or and Dyspraxic. I confidently hypothesise that a large proportion of them will adjust their computer screens to reduce their difficulty.
BUT….although one presentation is concerned with colour there is little research into the biology/mechanics behind this ‘phenomenon’/choice.
Friday 12:30
Joe Taylor (University of Oxford, UK)
The physiological effects of coloured filters on attention
I sometimes think that this is because most research looks at the ‘developing’ of developmental dyslexia. It is very child-centred. With adults (grown –up children!)  the response to changing the appearance of the text seems very important. From my own experience before the age of 10 years there is not a strong effect.  Thus would appear to agree with what is found in terms of phonics interventions, really useful before the age of 10 but then decreasingly so.
A strange change in my thinking has been developed recently. I no longer think of my work as concerned with 'colour'; certainly not anything to do with the use of the word in art ,physics or perception.
When optimising the background for people, we measure the response to 
  1. Screen brightness..Luminance.
  2. Reduced red pixel brightness...Luminance
  3. Reduced green pixel brightness... Luminance
  4. Blue Pixel brightness...Luminance

We are looking at the gross effects of changing relative cone stimulation. This is biochemistry and then biophysics.
I can see connections with the ideas of Facoetti et al and Valdois, I think.  What controls the visual attention span and the speed of parallel processing of letters. So perhaps more research will concentrate on this area in the future, after all there are about seven times as many dyslexic people over the age of 10 than less than 10 years old!

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