Improving Vision through Training

According to psychologists at the University of California, Riverside, just one week of training by repeatedly performing a perceptual-learning task can improve the vision of the elderly to be comparable to young adults.

“Our research indicates that the visual system of the elderly retains a high degree of plasticity and demonstrates that training methods can be used to improve visual function,” says John G. Andersen, who co-authored the study.

Subjects were shown a striped visual stimulus and asked to determine if the image had been rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise. Researchers compared the results of 16 young adults (average age of 22) and 16 older adults (average age of 71) in 750 trials a day over a seven day period. After seven days the older adults showed enough improvement in near-vision acuity to eliminate the difference between the two groups.

It is not yet known if the effects of visual training lead to improvement in real-world tasks, such as driving.

Further information: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/boosting-older-adults-vision-through-training.html

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