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Vision and the Brain: Can we be Trained to See Better?

First Posted: Feb 17, 2014 02:00 PM EST
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According to a recent study, researchers from the University of California discovered that good vision may have a lot to do with an individual's ability to spot out details.

For their experiment, they examined the role of vision for Riverside, Ca. baseball players, discovering just how a visual training program that teaches the brain how to see better could positively affect the sport's players ability to succeed in the game.

Lead study author Aaron Seitz recruited players to participate in the training process, asking athletes to identify various visual patterns through the use of an iPad for 25 minutes per day, four days a week and over the period of two months. During the study, certain patterns became dimmer, thus testing the players' ability to use their vision in order to search for the patterns.

"The goal of the program is to train the brain to better respond to the inputs that it gets from the eye," Seitz said, via a press release. "As with most other aspects of our function, our potential is greater than our normative level of performance. When we go to the gym and exercise, we are able to increase our physical fitness; it's the same thing with the brain. By exercising our mental processes we can promote our mental fitness."

Many of the participants stated that they had "greater peripheral vision" and better overall eyesight. The participants also appeared to play better with these improvements.

"The demonstration that seven players reached 20/7.5 acuity-the ability to read text at three times the distance of a normal observer-is dramatic and required players to stand forty feet back from the eye chart in order to get a measurement of their vision," Seitz concluded, via the release.

What do you think?

More information regarding the study can be seen via the Current Biology

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