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Accommodation changes in reading the Japanese language

13 February 1979


Ten Japanese students, attending Portland State University, were examined by book retinoscopy in order to evaluate accommodation behavior while reading two different languages (Japanese and English) . Ten students at the Pacific University College of Optometry were used as a control group. There was no significant difference in the amount of accommodation used by Japanese subjects in reading either Japanese or English, both at sixteen inches and at their habitual reading distances. However, the Japanese subjects manifested larger levels of accommodation used in reading English at their habitual reading distances and their shorter habitual reading distances, compared to data of the American subjects. The Japanese language, itself, does not significantly influence accommodation used in reading. Since the habitual reading distance of the Japanese people is, as a rule, considerably less than for American subjects, they have a tendency to use higher levels of accommodation in all types of "near" visual tasks.


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