Elderly adults can improve their vision

Elderly adults can improve their vision with perceptual training, "Perceptual learning, aging, and improved visual performance in early stages of visual processing," appears in the Journal of Vision. It was funded by a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging.

"We found that with just two days of training, in one-hour sessions, with difficult stimuli resulted in older subjects seeing as well as younger college-age subjects," G. John Andersen said. "The improvement was maintained for up to three months and the results were dependent on the location in the visual field where the stimuli were located – suggesting that the brain changed in early levels of visual cortex." The visual cortex is the part of the brain that processes visual information.

Age-related changes in vision – such as contrast sensitivity, dark adaptation, visual acuity, spatial vision, orientation, depth perception and motion perception – have been substantiated in numerous previous studies. This is the first study that demonstrates that perceptual training can be used to improve vision among the elderly in the earliest levels of visual processing.

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