Decision Making Journal Club

The Effects of OpenDyslexic, a Specific Dyslexia Font, on Adult Dyslexics’ Eye Movements and Heart Rate in Sentence Reading

Presentation and discussion of preliminary results from a recent eye-tracking study on the effects of OpenDyslexic. This study, run in collaboration with the Concordia Vision Labs in Montréal, investigated the eye movements, heart rate variability and text comprehension of university students with and without dyslexia. Participants were presented with 10 texts from the standardised reading speed texts collection – iRest – (Trauzettel-Klosinski et al., 2012) in one of two distinct fonts – Times New Roman or OpenDyslexic – before being asked one comprehension question. The latter font is a typeface particularly designed for people with dyslexia, which is supposed to help their reading by alleviating common issues with written stimuli in dyslexia such as visual crowding. The aim of the study was to find out whether OpenDyslexic leads to a more pleasant reading experience reflected by one’s eye movements and reduced levels of stress. For texts shown in Times New Roman, we expected dyslexic students to show longer fixation and reading duration, higher number of regressions, worse text comprehension and a generally faster heart rate compared to students without dyslexia. These differences between groups were expected to be smaller or insignificant for texts presented in OpenDyslexic font.