The Visual System as Your Brain’s GPS


Nice item in Science Daily News on research from Johns Hopkins concerning the connection between vision problems and vestibular function.   I blogged previously about recognition of these issues in Optometry and in Occupational Therapy, as elaborated by Developmental ODs in California, and the grandmother of Sensory Integration, Jean Ayres.  The Hopkins group did SBO vs. SBC a bit differently – on a foam pad rather than standing on one leg, but their report substantiates the need to consider that the eye bone is connected to the hip bone.

Here is a nice reminder of how the VOR, or Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex, helps the eyes serve as the brain’s global positioning  and navigation systems.  It’s good to take a step back and realize that eye docs have known for many years that being in motion can smear your vision, even for something as basic as reading an eye chart, as discussed in this article.  The nature of smear in visual targets can be distortion, blur, ghosting, instability, or a lag in your brain re-claiming clarity.

eye chart smear

eye chart ghosting

eye chart distortion

We’ll visit this further with some discussion about integrating optometric vision therapy with occupational and physical therapy, embodied in Mary Kawar and Sheila Frick’s visual-vestibular Astronaut Training.

Astronaut Training - Kawar

5 thoughts on “The Visual System as Your Brain’s GPS

  1. Dear Dr Press ,

    I’d like to thank you once again for recommending. Visual /Spatial portals by Harry Wachs which is my daily Bible . I have implemented so many of the exercises and seen an enormous progress in a short period of time ,my son who is almost 8 progressed in 9 months from 92 percent of brain dysfunction to 53 percent ….
    I have also participated in Sheila Frick’s course and i am looking forward to your next post

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog

  2. Thanks Len for your wonderful-artful blogging. I look forward to learning more about the astronaut program and putting the principles to use. I know many of our local OT’s use the astronaut program and it’s quite a powerful tool to have!

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