Navigation Links
Perceptual training improves vision of the elderly

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Elderly adults can improve their vision with perceptual training, according to a study from the University of California, Riverside and Boston University that has implications for the health and mobility of senior citizens.

The study, "Perceptual learning, aging, and improved visual performance in early stages of visual processing," appears in the current online issue of the Journal of Vision. It was funded by a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging.

UCR researchers G. John Andersen, professor of psychology; Rui Ni, formerly a postdoctoral researcher; graduate student Jeffrey D. Bower; and Boston University psychology professor Takeo Watanabe conducted a series of experiments to determine whether repeated performance of certain visual tasks that are at the limits that one can see can improve the vision of adults older than 65.

"We found that with just two days of training, in one-hour sessions, with difficult stimuli resulted in older subjects seeing as well as younger college-age subjects," Andersen said. "The improvement was maintained for up to three months and the results were dependent on the location in the visual field where the stimuli were located suggesting that the brain changed in early levels of visual cortex." The visual cortex is the part of the brain that processes visual information.

Age-related changes in vision such as contrast sensitivity, dark adaptation, visual acuity, spatial vision, orientation, depth perception and motion perception have been substantiated in numerous previous studies. This is the first study that demonstrates that perceptual training can be used to improve vision among the elderly in the earliest levels of visual processing.

The researchers used a texture discrimination test in which the participants were presented with stimuli consisting of a letter embedded in the center of a field of horizontally oriented lines. In addition to the letter, an array of peripherally located lines was oriented diagonally and formed either a vertical or horizontal object, always presented in the same quadrant. That was followed quickly with the display of a masking pattern. The task was to identify the central letter and the peripheral object.

Improvements in vision were not due to practice or familiarity with the task, the researchers determined. And, the improved performance from perceptual training was maintained for at least three months. These results show a high degree of brain plasticity among the elderly and suggest that this technique is useful for recovering from declines in vision due to normal aging.

"Given the clear impact of age-related declines in vision on driving, mobility, and falls, the present study suggests that perceptual learning may be a useful tool for improving the health and well-being of an older population," the researchers concluded.

After age 60 there is a steady increase in the incidence of falls and automobile crashes that are associated with changes in visual processing. This research indicates that behavioral interventions are likely to be very useful for improving safety and quality of life as we get older, Andersen said.


Contact: Bettye Miller
University of California - Riverside

Related medicine news :

1. Medical Training School, Pima Medical Institute Offering First Bachelor's Degree Program
2. Beat The Odds and Get Back on Track; Revitalizing Fitness Training and Exercise Resolutions With Newly Released, Complimentary Video Series
3. Kendle Named to Training Top 125
4. ShopToEarth Brings Eco-Friendly Green Business Plan to New Jersey and Michigan: Free Overview and Training Seminars
5. Medical Nurse Training, Inc. Partners With Healthcare Companies to Develop Corporate Branded, Accredited Programs for Patient/Bed Safety and Fall Prevention/Protection
6. Fitness Trend Towards Online Personal Training Gets Real-World Weight Loss Results on
7. MU offers training program to improve health literacy
8. DQE Offers New Hospital Command Center Training
9. Treadmill training could help tots walk
10. Pyzdek Institute Releases Online Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Training
11. Positive prevention toolkit aims to assist global training of HIV/AIDS caregivers
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... It’s inevitable that everyone will experience death ... or animal pass away, death lives among us. It is your perspective, however, that ... family of 11 children, author T Sky understands that she may see death more ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Sikka Software announced today that ... Their Ecosystem empowers dentists to make complex business decisions by providing the tools and ... a free fee survey with 10 procedures customized by zip code. , The ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... alliance around Novus’ TIGR® Matrix Surgical Mesh technology for soft tissue repair in ... TIGR® Matrix is a long-term resorbable surgical mesh intended to support and reinforce ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... SIMmersion’s ability ... to the medical schools of the future. To reach an audience of key ... 2015 ChangeMedEd conference in Chicago, organized by the American Medical Association. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... November ... ... ( ), a leading provider of enterprise Time and Attendance/Workforce Management ... status in the Microsoft Partner Program with competencies in the Application Development, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Belgium , Nov. 30, 2015 ... sciences company focused on developing blood-based diagnostic tests for a ... the Company will present at the LD Micro Conference, which ... Los Angeles, CA. Attending from VolitionRx will be ... Scott Powell , Vice President of Investor Relations. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 Mexico Healthcare and ... Life Sciences Report 2015 . --> Pharmaboardroom releases its ... Latin America , a country of over ... a country of over 122 million people. --> It ... pharmaceuticals, or life sciences insights into the second largest pharma and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 Sectra (STO: SECT ... entered into a multi-year agreement to provide Breast Imaging ... Kentucky Breast Care to increase collaboration with sub-specialists around ... patients. --> Sectra (STO: SECT ... entered into a multi-year agreement to provide Breast Imaging ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: