digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Peripheral vision of the human eye.

Vision span or perceptual span is a controversial concept in speed reading referring to the angular span (vertically and horizontally), within which the human eye has sharp enough vision to read text. The visual field of the human eye spans approximately 120 degrees of arc. However, most of that arc is peripheral vision. The human eye has much greater resolution in the macula, where there is a higher density of cone cells. The field of view that is observed with sufficient resolution to read text typically spans about 6 degrees of arc, which is wide enough to allow a clear view of about five words in a row when printed text at ordinary size is held about 50 centimeters from the eyes. The brain creates the illusion of having a greater visual span by automatically and unconsciously moving the center of vision into any area of interest in the field of view.

Application to speed reading[edit]

While reading, readers will fail to recognize a word unless they are fixating within three to four character spaces of the word (Rayner, 1975). The same is true for speed readers and skimmers. Speed readers cannot answer questions about a main point or detail, if they did not fixate directly on it or within three character spaces of it (Just and Carpenter 1987). When a text is removed whilst reading, readers can only accurately report upon the word they were fixating upon or the next one to the right (McConkie and Hogaoam 1985). There is no evidence from eye movement research that individuals are making predictions of text based upon hypotheses about the words in the periphery so that they can skip over or spend less time on unimportant or redundant words (Rayner, 1975).

Most speed reading courses claim that the peripheral vision can be used to read text. This claim has been found to be false, because the text is blurred out through lack of visual resolution. At best the human brain can only guess at the content of text outside the macular region. There simply are not enough cone cells away from the center of the visual field to identify words in the periphery of the field.

It has been suggested, primarily through popular psychology, that the fixation span can be stretched through training (meta guiding) to take in as much as a line for the purpose of skimming or speed reading. This suggestion has been found to be false, which goes some way to explain why skimming results in a severely reduced comprehension rate in comparison to normal reading ("rauding").

Some speed reading courses stress that the human eye has to move very quickly. They also stress that the human eye should move in a pattern to fill in the information that was not properly perceived. The effective limit for scanning speeds based upon the limit of the human eye's resolution is approximately 10,000 words per minute[citation needed]. It is claimed that such speeds also require great practice, and extremely rapid eye movements, although research suggests that such training is not possible. It has been suggested by some speed reading promoters that the readers who achieve such speeds are on the autism spectrum. Research into reading rate suggests that study strategies, rather than speed reading, explains why expert readers, such as professors and editors, are more efficient than others.


  • Rayner 1975. The perceptual span and peripheral cues in reading. Cognitive Psychology, 7, 65-81
  • McConkie and Hogaoam 1985. Eye position and word identification during reading. In R. Groner et al.'s Eye movements and information processing. Amsterdam, Elsevier.
  • Just and Carpenter 1987 In Allyn & Bacon's The Psychology of Reading and Language Comprehension. Boston.

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_span — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
259288 videos foundNext > 


93 Rock's Spano sits down for an intimate one on one interview with Rob Zombie before his 2010 MayhemFest performance. Hard-hitting questions cover beef with...

SPAN-O-VISION / Wayne Static

Spano interviews Wayne Static of Static-X for 93 Rock.

6 vision nanotecnologia Nokia Morph Concept en Español Span

Vision 101: Peripheral Vision Training: Expanding Span of Awareness

A talk by Dr. Glen-Martin Swartwout. Learn to open the doors of perception in your mind. Electrical function of lungs (oxygen is electron receiver) and retin...


93 Rock MayhemFest 2010.

93 Rock's SPAN-O-VISION with Papa Roach

Just chatting with the clowns of Papa Roach.

DJI Phantom Vision Aerial - Cupid's Span San Francisco

San Francisco Embarcadero A tribute to Coosje van Bruggen 1942 - 2009 Music by Steve Anderson ~ Late Night Girl.

C-SPAN: Barack Obama Speech at 2004 DNC Convention

Then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama (D) delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Strong Sight Training Program -- Easy Clear Vision Review

Strong Sight Training Program By Dr. Benjamin Miller 15 Minutes A Day...Over A Span Of About 3 Weeks...To Get Your Eyesight Back To Near Perfect Vision... Mo...

SPAN - Trailer

The independent film Span represents a truly unique vision of mankind's future. It is the first production by Difference Engine Films and is the project that...

259288 videos foundNext > 

20 news items

Construction Week Online
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 01:07:31 -0800

Furthermore, drones must be kept within the vision span of the user, and personal use must only be conducted at authorised facilities. Cameras and telecommunication devices are only allowed with the permission of authorised agencies. In drafting the ...
Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:26:15 -0800

The new Nike LeBron 12 “Court Vision” is slated to release tomorrow, as this latest theme pays tribute to one of LeBron James' many gifted intangibles. Sporting a tonal Black shade for its Megafuse upper and Hyperposite wings, the distinctive “Court ...

Zawya (registration)

Zawya (registration)
Sun, 22 Feb 2015 01:54:07 -0800

Dubai - The General Civil Aviation Authority ( GCAA ) is currently drafting the regulations and criteria for using drones in UAE skies, as well as to authorities to draft regulations parallel to those implemented by GCAA in order to control the import ...


Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:28:33 -0700

The backers of the massive Miami Worldcenter won two key approvals Monday from the Miami City Commission that will allow them to move forward with the $1.5 billion project — but not before watching the whole deal teeter briefly on the edge.
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:39:14 -0700

Miami commissioners enthusiastically agreed Thursday to turn over sections of three downtown streets to the developers of the multi-block Miami Worldcenter project, brushing aside objections from critics who called the move a giveaway and raised ...
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:49:13 -0700

The developers of the massive, multiblock Miami Worldcenter complex are asking the city to turn over sections of three downtown streets for inclusion in the project, raising sharp objections from some nearby business owners and activists who call the ...
Huffington Post
Tue, 13 May 2014 12:06:44 -0700

Untrained subjects use central focus but not horizontal peripheral vision span during reading, foregoing up to 50 percent of their words per fixation (the number of words that can be perceived and "read" in each fixation). The Protocol. You will 1 ...

Solitary Watch

Solitary Watch
Tue, 25 Mar 2014 11:07:45 -0700

Inside the cell itself, you have a vision span of only 11 feet because you cannot see out of the small window. During the hot summer months, the outdated ventilation system causes the temperatures in the cells to reach 100-110 degrees, resulting in ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight