Visual perception is a combined function of our eyes and brain. We see images as a whole rather than in parts. However, images can be broken down into their visual elements: line, shape, texture, and color. Elements of visual perception include: visual closure-the ability to identify or recognize a symbol or object when the entire object is not visible; visual discrimination-the differentiation of objects based on their characteristics (shape, size, color, etc.); visual memory-the ability to store and retrieve visual images and experiences; visual integration-the ability to integrate visual information with information from our other senses or from other visual information.
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Visual processing is the ability to interpret information taken in through the eyes. This processing allows us to perceive, analyze and think in visual images, and it is necessary for reading, remembering, walking, driving and the majority of our everyday tasks. The aging brain experiences a slowdown in processing speed which can affect the reception, interpretation and storage of visual information. Difficulties can be experienced in the following tasks: remembering driving directions, finding specific info on a page (like a name or phone number), organizing information from different sources and combining it together, tracking moving objects, and reading with speed and precision. Posit Sciences’ Visual Program, also known as Insight, can retrain the brain to process visual information. The program targets four areas of visual processing (visual memory, peripheral vision, useful field of view and divided attention).
Visual processing disorders in children and young adults can inhibit their ability to learn in the classroom. Difficulties are often witnessed in some of the following areas: reading speed and accuracy, reading comprehension, interpreting written symbols, copying from the board or a book, writing neatly and within the margins, easily distracted by competing visual information and problems distinguishing letters and numbers. Recommended by educators, optometrists, and psychologists, Brainware Safari can improve visual processing in children. Using a video game format, the program targets many skills necessary for learning including visual discrimination, visual-motor integration, visual memory and visual thinking.