Member, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)
Jason Yeatman, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
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An accurate model of the factors that contribute to individual differences in reading ability depends on data collection in large, diverse and representative samples of research participants. However, that is rarely feasible due to the constraints imposed by standardized measures of reading ability which require test administration by trained clinicians or researchers. Here we explore whether a simple, two-alternative forced choice, time limited lexical decision task (LDT), self-delivered through the web-browser, can serve as an accurate and reliable measure of reading ability. We found that performance on the LDT is highly correlated with scores on standardized measures of reading ability such as the Woodcock-Johnson Letter Word Identification test (r=0.91, disattenuated r=0.94). Importantly, the LDT reading ability measure is highly reliable (r=0.97). After optimizing the list of words and pseudowords based on item response theory, we found that a short experiment with 76 trials (2-3min) provides a reliable (r=0.95) measure of reading ability. Thus, the self-administered, Rapid Online Assessment of Reading ability (ROAR) developed here overcomes the constraints of resource-intensive, in-person reading assessment, and provides an efficient and automated tool for effective online research into the mechanisms of reading (dis)ability.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-85907-x
View details for PubMedID 33737729
Classic studies of ocular dominance plasticity in early development showed that monocular deprivation suppresses the neural representation and visual function of the deprived eye. However, recent studies have shown that a short period of monocular deprivation (<3 h) in normal adult humans, shifts sensory eye dominance in favor of the deprived eye. How can these opposing effects be reconciled? Here we argue that there are two systems acting in opposition at different time scales. A fast acting, stabilizing, homeostatic system that rapidly decreases gain in the non-deprived eye or increases gain in the deprived eye, and a relatively sluggish system that shifts balance toward the non-deprived eye, in an effort to reduce input of little utility to active vision. If true, then continuous deprivation should produce a biphasic effect on interocular balance, first shifting balance away from the non-deprived eye, then towards it. Here we investigated the time course of the deprivation effect by monocularly depriving typical adults for 10 h and conducting tests of sensory eye balance at six intervening time points. Consistent with previous short-term deprivation work, we found shifts in sensory eye dominance away from the non-deprived eye up until approximately 5 h. We then observed a turning point, with balance shifting back towards the non-deprived eye, -, a biphasic effect. We argue that this turning point marks where the rapid homeostatic response saturates and is overtaken by the slower system responsible for suppressing monocular input of limited utility.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.visres.2021.01.010
View details for PubMedID 33684826