May 2008
Volume 8, Issue 6
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Perceptual training yields rapid improvements in visually impaired youth
Author Affiliations
  • Jeffrey Nyquist
    Vanderbilt Vision Research Center
  • Joseph Lappin
    Vanderbilt Vision Research Center
  • Duje Tadin
    Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester
Journal of Vision May 2008, Vol.8, 1131. doi:
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      Jeffrey Nyquist, Joseph Lappin, Duje Tadin; Perceptual training yields rapid improvements in visually impaired youth. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):1131.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Effective vision demands coordinated responses to information over a wide field of view, involving both central and peripheral regions. Visually impaired individuals often seem to under-utilize the peripheral field, even when the peripheral retina is unimpaired. Motivated by perceptual training studies with typically sighted adults, we examined whether perceptual training might yield improvements in peripheral perception of visually impaired youth. Low-vision youth first performed a series of psychophysical tasks, in which impairments were most pronounced in periphery, compared to age-matched, typically sighted controls. Psychophysical tasks included measurements of: foveal acuity, motion discrimination, motion pop-out, visual crowding and visual search of naturalistic scenes. Next, we evaluated the effectiveness of three training regimens by comparing pre- and post-training performances in these psychophysical tasks. The training regimens were: (1) an action video-game, (2) a psychophysical task that combined attentional tracking with a spatially and temporally unpredictable motion discrimination task, and (3) a control video-game (Tetris). Training involved ten 50-minute sessions. All of the stimuli were displayed on a large projection screen (60×30deg). Both action video-game training and attentional tracking training yielded improved performance in all psychophysical tasks, with the attentional tracking training usually producing the largest improvements. For example, perceptual training reduced visual search reaction times by 47% for the attentional tracking group and 40% for the action video-game group. Overall, training effects were larger in the far periphery and improvements did not occur in the fovea. These results demonstrate that 8h of perceptual training can yield substantial visual improvements and support the idea that peripheral perception might be under-utilized by visually impaired youth. Moreover, similar improvements following attentional tracking and action video-game training suggest that documented effects of action video-game training in typically sighted adults might be due to the sustained rapid deployment of attention to multiple dynamic targets.

Nyquist, J. Lappin, J. Tadin, D. (2008). Perceptual training yields rapid improvements in visually impaired youth [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6):1131, 1131a,, doi:10.1167/8.6.1131. [CrossRef]

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