Focal Attention and Letter Recognition

We studied letter recognition in 8 deg eccentricity from the fovea after attracting sustained focal attention to the stimulated location by a cue. Young and elderly healthy subjects, as well as patients with central vision loss participated. We found that the ability to utilize focal attention has an irregular topographic component in some subjects. The experiments in patients indicated that locations with high attentional potential are more likely to be used as preferred retinal loci after central vision loss.


MacKeben, M. (1999) Sustained Focal Attention and Peripheral Letter Recognition. Spatial Vision 12/1, 51-71 (link to Spat.Vis. 1999)


Altpeter E, MacKeben M & Trauzettel-Klosinski S. (2000) The importance of sustained attention for patients with maculopathies, Vision Research 40/10-12, 1539-1547 (pubmed)


MacKeben, M. (2009) Making the best of remaining vision – the role of focal attention. Neuro-Ophthalmology, vol. 33/3, June, pp. 127-131 (link to NOPH)


  • Scattered letters of varying clarity

    MacKeben Lab

    Work in this laboratory is devoted to researching facts and developing tools to help the rehabilitation of people with low vision, especially those with macular vision loss.

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