Bionic reading

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plodder
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Bionic reading

Post by plodder » Thu May 19, 2022 11:56 am


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jaap
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by jaap » Thu May 19, 2022 12:01 pm

plodder wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 11:56 am
Works for me

https://twitter.com/holly/status/152721 ... 24/photo/1
I can't tell if the technique works or not, because it is always easier to read a text the second time compared to the first time.

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dyqik
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by dyqik » Thu May 19, 2022 12:14 pm

Reading the non-altered text first (on a phone screen), I find both equally easy to read. Which suggests that it does nothing for me.

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Re: Bionic reading

Post by plodder » Thu May 19, 2022 12:17 pm

jaap wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 12:01 pm
plodder wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 11:56 am
Works for me

https://twitter.com/holly/status/152721 ... 24/photo/1
I can't tell if the technique works or not, because it is always easier to read a text the second time compared to the first time.
Maybe the next person along can read the right hand version first?

@dyqik I found it significantly easier to concentrate on what was written in the bionic version, surprisingly so. It was like someone pronouncing the words very clearly in an engaging tone of voice. Really odd.

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Re: Bionic reading

Post by dyqik » Thu May 19, 2022 12:19 pm

plodder wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 12:17 pm
jaap wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 12:01 pm
plodder wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 11:56 am
Works for me

https://twitter.com/holly/status/152721 ... 24/photo/1
I can't tell if the technique works or not, because it is always easier to read a text the second time compared to the first time.
Maybe the next person along can read the right hand version first?

@dyqik I found it significantly easier to concentrate on what was written in the bionic version, surprisingly so. It was like someone pronouncing the words very clearly in an engaging tone of voice. Really odd.
I do something like that for both texts, which may explain why it didn't have much effect.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu May 19, 2022 12:23 pm

At least while I'm in flitting-around-the-internet mode - clearing emails, checking social media and forums etc - that seemed quite useful (I tried the right-hand version first).

Not sure it would make much difference if I were in reading mode. Tried to learn more about it on https://bionic-reading.com/ but that site is horrible on desktop (and doesn't use bionic reading, lol) so I gave up.
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by Martin_B » Thu May 19, 2022 1:14 pm

plodder wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 12:17 pm
jaap wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 12:01 pm
plodder wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 11:56 am
Works for me

https://twitter.com/holly/status/152721 ... 24/photo/1
I can't tell if the technique works or not, because it is always easier to read a text the second time compared to the first time.
Maybe the next person along can read the right hand version first?

@dyqik I found it significantly easier to concentrate on what was written in the bionic version, surprisingly so. It was like someone pronouncing the words very clearly in an engaging tone of voice. Really odd.
I read the right hand version first. The left hand version (non-bionic) was easier for me. This might be because I now knew what the text was going to be before reading it.

I did notice that the text is written by someone who uses American English, though; "center"?
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lpm
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by lpm » Thu May 19, 2022 1:38 pm

Martin_B wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 1:14 pm
I read the right hand version first. The left hand version (non-bionic) was easier for me. This might be because I now knew what the text was going to be before reading it.
Same. Left easier.

But what matters more is line length. Paperback width - 8 to 10 words - is the easiest and quickest format, allowing the brain to process what the eye takes in. Newspaper column width needs too many paragraph breaks. The width of the lines in this are neither and make reading hard. Plus not right justified.
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by dyqik » Thu May 19, 2022 3:28 pm

The biggest step in transferring information via reading is to follow the advice of Gopen and Swan, imo.

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Re: Bionic reading

Post by monkey » Thu May 19, 2022 9:13 pm

Left was easier for me. The bold bits on the other one seemed to be making me stop and start at each word, so it wasn't flowing as well. Got the feeling that if the bold bits were less bold, it would work a bit better though, which it seems to be possible with one of the apps that are pushed on the website. Tweaking for individuals seems like something that would need to be done if this were to work properly, people are annoyingly variable with things like this.

But before thinking about that, there doesn't seem to be any actual proof it does what it says in the tin, none that I could find anyway. Nothing on their website that I could find that even said "we have tested it and you can go x times faster", or a quick search on google scholar for "Bionic reading" or the founder's name. There's a few reviews and that's it, so only selected anecdote. Another thing is, that it's not just about speed, comprehension is important too. Not much point reading faster if the information is not sticking, or even not quite sticking as well. The example isn't a good test of that, because the comparison uses exactly the same words.

I did find it amusing that their website doesn't use this text style. And also has bits with lines of large font followed by lines of small font, which I found annoying to read. clicky. Not sure they thought that one through very well.
Martin_B wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 1:14 pm
I did notice that the text is written by someone who uses American English, though; "center"?
Quite a few people are USian, but in this case they are Swiss.
Last edited by monkey on Thu May 19, 2022 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sciolus
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by Sciolus » Thu May 19, 2022 9:14 pm

I read the first half on the left first, then the second half on the right first.

I prefer the straight version. The bionic text looks like someone has screwed up the pixel alignment so it's a blurry mess, and fighting through that takes extra brain power. It's the same as "simplified" spellings: because they aren't standard, they are actually harder to read because you have to translate them into what they are supposed to be.

Also, "guiding the eyes through the text with artificial fixation points"? That's exactly what the spaces are doing already, making the first few characters bold adds nothing.

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Re: Bionic reading

Post by Sciolus » Thu May 19, 2022 9:19 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 1:38 pm
But what matters more is line length. Paperback width - 8 to 10 words - is the easiest and quickest format, allowing the brain to process what the eye takes in.
This is true. I hate A4, it's exactly the wrong size.

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Re: Bionic reading

Post by Chris Preston » Fri May 20, 2022 7:52 am

I read the left first and the right second. I found the left easier to read. All the bolding on the right tended to make the text look 'jumpy' and I had to concentrate more to determine what each word was.
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri May 20, 2022 7:59 am

Sciolus wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 9:19 pm
lpm wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 1:38 pm
But what matters more is line length. Paperback width - 8 to 10 words - is the easiest and quickest format, allowing the brain to process what the eye takes in.
This is true. I hate A4, it's exactly the wrong size.
Depends on the font size ;)
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by jimbob » Fri May 20, 2022 9:30 am

dyqik wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 3:28 pm
The biggest step in transferring information via reading is to follow the advice of Gopen and Swan, imo.
That looks interesting.

I do have strong opinions about the impact of formatting on comprehensibility of technical writing.

One long report, I couldn't grasp at all until I changed the typeface, justified the paragraphs, and broke the paragraphs into smaller ones, each dealing with a smaller number of concepts.
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Re: Bionic reading

Post by bagpuss » Mon May 23, 2022 9:48 am

I read the right hand side first and found it much easier and quicker. I have a tendency to skim read, often missing important points and having to go back and re-read things. With the bolded bits on the right, I could skip through as quickly as normal while still getting all the words, while with the left side, I either skipped words or had to slow down to read them all.

I suspect one's normal reading style makes a huge difference to whether or not this works for you.

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Re: Bionic reading

Post by Aoui » Tue May 24, 2022 6:33 pm

My eyes flat refused to read the left and were drawn to the right. I had trouble focusing on the left at all. The font was so skinny and samey and my eyes tended to get lost. My arms are getting a bit short again, so this may have as much to do with my glasses prescription than elsewhat. I'm not neurotypical, though I dunno if that has anything to do with it.

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Re: Bionic reading

Post by kerrya1 » Tue May 31, 2022 12:09 pm

I've seen this shared a lot in various neurodivergent and un-schooling circles over the past few weeks. To me it just seems like one more unevidenced attempt to "fix" neurodivergent traits with "one simple trick". As has been mentioned above neurodivergent people are widely varied in the ways we perceive the world.

I preferred the non-bionic text but some people, ND or NT, may find the bionic works better for them, there is never going to be a one size fits all solution and I do wish people would stop pretending they've found one.

Also, most of us neither need or wish to be fixed.

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