Positive display polarity is advantageous for both younger and older adults

  title={Positive display polarity is advantageous for both younger and older adults},
  author={Cosima Piepenbrock and Susanne Mayr and Iris Mund and Axel Buchner},
  pages={1116 - 1124}
The effect of display polarity on visual acuity and proofreading performance was investigated for younger and older adults. An advantage of positive polarity (dark characters on light background) over negative polarity (light characters on dark background) was expected for younger adults, but the effects on older adults were ambiguous. Light scatter due to residues in the senescent lens and vitreous humour could reverse the typical advantage of positive polarity. However, age-related changes… 
Positive Display Polarity Is Particularly Advantageous for Small Character Sizes
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Smaller pupil size and better proofreading performance with positive than with negative polarity displays
Pupil sizes were smaller and proofreading performance was better with positive than with negative polarity displays, compatible with the hypothesis that the positive polarity advantage is an effect of display luminance.
Greater effect of contrast polarities on visual acuity measurements using chart with shorter wavelength background
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The influence of brightness combinations and background color on legibility and subjective preference under negative polarity.
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Impact of Color and Polarity on Visual Resolution with Varying Contrast Ratios and Different Text Backgrounds
As contrast decreases, color plays a more significant role than the non-color factor in the resolution of fine details in both polarities as it influences the visual resolution outcome which is reflected in the measurements in logMAR units.


The advantage of positive text-background polarity is due to high display luminance
Readability of text presented on computer screens is better when the overall display luminance level is high, as in positive polarity displays (dark letters on light background).
Text – background polarity affects performance irrespective of ambient illumination and colour contrast
In a series of experiments, proofreading performance was consistently better with positive polarity than with negative polarity displays (light text on dark background), independent of ambient lighting and chromaticity.
Legibility and Subjective Preference for Color Combinations in Text
No evidence suggested differential effects of luminance polarity or hue, with the only exception that cool background colors tended to be preferred for the light-on-dark polarity.
How display polarity and lighting conditions affect the pupil size of VDT operators.
This study ascertained that CRTs using a positive display polarity (dark characters on bright background) are ergonomically more appropriate for VDT operators than ones using a negative display
Ergonomic aspects of image polarity
Abstract The following paper deals with the question of whether VDUs with positive polarity or negative polarity are preferable from the ergonomic point of view. It discusses to what extent
Psychophysics of reading—V. The role of contrast in normal vision
Visual Acuity with Reversed-Contrast Charts: II. Clinical Investigation
Impairment of the eye’s optics, in particular by intraocular scatter causing a widening and flattening of the eyesight's point-spread function, explains these findings and suggests prognostic and therapeutic value of reversing the contrast polarity of displays.