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Julia Schroeder, L. Gregory Appelbaum, Matthew Cain, Stephen Mitroff; Examining the effects of stroboscopic vision. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):1015. doi: 10.1167/11.11.1015.
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Visual and attentional abilities can differ greatly from one individual to another, and within an individual over time. Most differences between individuals are deeply rooted (e.g., between those who suffer from ADHD and those who do not), and most ability changes for an individual over time seem to arise from extensive, long-term training (e.g., perceptual learning effects, habitual video game playing). Relatively less evidence exists for more immediate improvements in visual cognition abilities through training procedures. Enhancement that can occur quickly could be highly valuable given the potential benefits of enhanced vision and attention in many arenas, including athletic activities. Athletes often must respond in millisecond time scales and any improvement in their ability to process incoming visual information has promise to enhance their performance. Using a new athletic training product that was presented at the 2010 Vision Sciences Society Demo Night, we provide evidence of improved visual abilities after training. Participants completed several computer-based visual cognition experiments (e.g., a motion coherence test) before and after engaging in training with simple sports activities (e.g., playing catch) while either wearing a new product called “Nike Strobes” or control eyewear. Nike Strobes are eyewear that use battery-powered liquid crystal stroboscopic filters (alternating between transparent and opaque) in the lenses to restrict incoming visual information and the control eyewear had clear lenses. Participants completed multiple 24-minute training sessions. Those who trained with the Nike Strobes showed greater improvements than those in the control group, revealing training benefits due to the stroboscopic experiences. The Strobe eyewear offer a potentially powerful visual training tool as they can be easily incorporated into normal activities and the strobe rate can be adjusted to progressively limit more incoming visual information.
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