We introduced the frontal lobes and your conscious attention in lesson 1f, please review this lesson if needed.
The visual information of what you are looking at has been processed through the eyes, and brain, so that you can recognise these words to read them.
Looking at the image below
Touch the pink button.
Let us think about that in terms of a few basic brain processes:
The purpose of this exercise was to try to show you what a control centre is, and to come to understand what your conscious attention is.
We assumed that both your eyes and brain created an accurate representation of the image with coloured circles. In the previous lessons we have given examples of the different brain visual processes, and any one of these can affect how well you can see and understand the image of coloured circles.
However, there is another area that can affect how well you can see and understand what you are looking at, and this is your frontal visual attention. Assuming good eye and brain vision, if you were trying to find the pink circle when:
Then you would still probably have found it, but it would have taken a little longer, and may have been a little more frustrating.
Trying to find your friends on the beach when you are worried you have lost them, is harder because you are worried. The worry reduces your capacity to visually search and focus, and is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the more you worry the harder the searching becomes.
These challenges are controlled by your frontal lobes, and can be attributed to many reasons why your ability to concentrate is reduced.
We are all affected by reduced frontal visual attention at times, for example looking for lost keys that are in front of you, but you miss them, or stubbing your toe on the edge of a bed that has been in the same position for years.
One might argue that the key difference between CVIs and reduced frontal visual attention, is that CVIs are permanent. CVIs, as you will see in future lessons, often have a range of severity for each person, with the severity varying according to the type of surroundings and how the person is feeling. Reduced frontal visual attention can be short lived, and is tied in with concentration.
Thus, vision can be affected by:
These classifications often relate to who will diagnose and support the person, a resource which varies from place to place, and can be confusing. For example, a child with reduced frontal visual attention may be supported by a psychologist, whereas a child with reduced visual attention due to a cerebral visual impairment may be supported by a specialist teacher of the visually impaired, a paediatrician and an eye doctor / ophthalmologist.
We have included this section on frontal visual attention, even though it does not technically come under the CVI umbrella, because it is an area where there is often confusion, and the same visual behaviours, including...
...can be caused by
...and to effectively support the person you need to know...
Whilst it may seem very confusing, there are ways to work out why some people find different things challenging, which will be explained in future lessons.
Hopefully by now, you will have a basic understanding of your own brain's visual processes.
Before you move onto the next lesson, please check:
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