Vision and Learning
"Vision is about more than being able to see 20/20"
Vision is our main sensory input providing more information to the brain than all the other senses combined. Vision is the primary sense when reading for study and work. It is also a major factor in sports, crafts, and other daily activities.
The efficiency of our visual system influences how we collect and process information. Repetitive demands or inefficient vision may cause us to slow down, be less accurate, experience excessive fatigue, or make errors. This, in turn, may require more visual effort and may interfere with speed, accuracy, and comprehension of visual tasks. Many of these visual dysfunctions are effectively treated with vision therapy and/or the therapeutic application of lenses.
Learning to read and reading for information require efficient visual abilities. The eyes must team precisely, focus clearly, and track quickly and accurately across the page. These processes must be coordinated with the perceptual and memory aspects of vision, which in turn must combine with linguistic processing for comprehension. To provide reliable information, this must occur with precise timing.
Inefficient or poorly developed vision requires us to divide attention between the task and the involved visual abilities. Some individuals have symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, eyestrain, errors, loss of place, light sensitivity, and difficulty sustaining attention. Others may avoid the task or simply find it harder than they should.
There are three main areas of visual function:
Visual pathway integrity including eye health, visual acuity and refractive status (the need for glasses to see more clearly)
Visual skills including fixation, accommodation (focusing), binocular vision (eye teaming), eye movements (tracking), functional-fields (visual awareness) and visual-motor integration (e.g. eye hand coordination)
Visual information processing including, identification, discrimination, spatial awareness, memory, visualisation and integration with the other senses as well as speech and language.
Most eye examinations concentrate on visual pathway integrity, a comprehensive behavioural assessment looks at visual skills and information processing as well and how they can be improved.