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Fighting “visual crowding”

 

Reduced vision and the brain’s processing speed could be linked, according to researchers from Tel Aviv University.

 

Visual crowding is the inability to recognize individual objects surrounded by other objects. This makes it impossible to read, for example, as single letters within words are rendered illegible, or the ability to recognize faces in a crowd is hampered. Until now, this phenomenon was attributed to a peripheral vision disorder.

 

Israeli researchers claim to have discovered a link between visual crowding and the accumulation of visual stimuli in the fovea. They studied 40 young individuals and 138 adults who were asked to situate the open part of the “E” to the right or the left of the letter, in various sizes and distances. The letter was surrounded by other letters.

 

People suffering from visual crowding had more difficulty identifying the right side of the “E” but were successful when they were exposed for longer periods. This means that they could be trained to reduce foveal crowding.

 

The researchers cited the case of a young subject who was having severe problems reading and who was unable to obtain a driver’s licence. After undergoing training, he was able to overcome the handicap. Not only did he get his licence but his academic results improved and he earned a university degree.


Source:

http://english.tau.ac.il/news/study_visual_crowding

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