Fang Hou, Yukai Zhao, Luis Andres Lesmes, Peter Bex, and Zhong-Lin Lu


Reading is a fundamental skill that can be significantly affected by visual disabilities. Reading performance, which typically is measured as reading speed with a reading chart, is a key endpoint for quantifying normal or abnormal vision. Despite its importance for clinical vision, existing reading tests for vision are time consuming and difficult to administer. Here, we propose a Bayesian adaptive method, the qReading method, for automated assessment of the reading speed versus print size function. We implemented the qReading method with a word/nonword lexical decision task and validated the method with computer simulations and a psychophysical experiment. Computer simulations showed that both the interrun standard deviation and intrarun half width of the 68.2% credible interval of the estimated reading speeds from the qReading method were less than 0.1 log10 units after 150 trials, with a bias of 0.05 log10 units. In the psychophysical experiment, reading functions measured by the qReading and Psi methods (Kontsevich & Tyler, 1999) in a word/nonword lexical decision task were compared. The estimated reading functions obtained with the qReading and Psi methods were highly correlated (r = 0.966 ± 0.004, p < 0.01). The precision of the qReading method with 225 trials was comparable to that of the Psi method with 450 trials. We conclude that the qReading method can precisely and accurately assess the reading function in much reduced time, with great promise in both basic research and clinical applications.