Two experiments were conducted using metacontrast masking to examine responses in the magno system of adults, average reading adolescents and adolescents with specific reading disability. In Experiment 1 the effects of a red background field on the metacontrast functions of adult subjects were investigated. Results showed that a red, compared to a photometrically matched white background field, significantly attenuated metacontrast magnitude, supporting the interpretation of metacontrast as due to magno system suppression of parvo system responses. The finding of a red background effect was replicated in Experiment 2 with the two adolescent groups. The metacontrast functions of the adolescent groups also differed significantly, with those with specific reading disability exhibiting weaker metacontrast than the average readers. This result is consistent with a deficit in the magno system of individuals with specific reading disability and indicates the continuation of the deficit beyond childhood.
Vision Research – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 1996
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