CVI-SIM Virtual Reality Videos

Latest update November 2021

We continue our partnership with the University of St Andrews, and for the 2020/21 academic year have been working with some exceptional students from the Department of Computer Studies, in partnership with the Department of Medicine, to develop our work creating simulations of the experience of CVI. Previous work with the university has been explained with a video on the Dorsal Stream Dysfunction CVI Experience page.

The 2020/21 projects are an evolving process, and we wanted to share the work with you as it develops.

We are interested to know if you find them helpful in understanding the different elements of CVI. Please use the contact us page or email any thoughts to - we are only a small team so can't promise to reply to everyone, but all will be read and considered as we continue our work, to explain the experience of CVI.

The short film below explains the purpose of this project.

Narrated by Gordon DuttonVideo Link:

December 2020 - Introduction to the VR Landscape & Classroom
In the film below we introduce you to our new project. Before moving onto a virtual classroom created for us, we take a tour of the virtual landscape, seeing some of the functions that have been designed to show brain processes affected by CVI. In our virtual classroom, we show you how some to the settings, which are CVIs, alter the experience of the classroom, due to reduced visual acuity, reduced contrast sensitivity, lower visual field impairment and severe simultanagnostic vision.

Narrated by Andrew BlaikieUniversity of St AndrewsVideo Link:

February 2021 - Clutter and noise interfere with learning!
In this video we use the VR classrooms and programme to show you how incredibly challenging learning in a classroom can be for a child with CVI, especially when there is clutter and noise.

We also look at a completely clutter free environment, called the tent room, and see the difference it makes to vision, by directly comparing the two different environments. Please note, the film is a little bit jerky due to the controls. This project is a work in progress and we are sharing updates, rather than the finished product.

Narrated by Andrew BlaikieUniversity of St AndrewsVideo Link:

March 2021 - Special Needs Classroom & Lower Visual Field Impairment
In this video we introduce you to our special needs VR classroom, developed from film made for this project from a real special needs classroom. In the classroom we look at what is low down, and the challenges created for children with lower visual field impairments. How many children in a special needs school do you think may have a lower visual field impairment? Based on growing research, we think it might be quite a lot.

Narrated by Andrew BlaikieUniversity of St AndrewsVideo Link:

November 2021
We have recently been asked to create a number of videos for different conferences, with several requests to make them available as a teaching and learning resource.

The videos below were made for slightly different audiences, so you may need to watch them to select the one most suitable for your needs. We show why different cerebral visual impairments require different approaches, and how learning suffers if visual needs are not met. Each features a one-minute clip from a film of two dogs on a beach we have previously used. The first three videos consider CVI in relation to both mainstream and complex needs children.

These, and all CVI Scotland videos, are free to share and download. Click here for download instructions.

Suitable for any audience including those who have never heard of CVI. Narrated by Gordon DuttonUniversity of St AndrewsVideo Link:

Click here to watch the 10 minute lay version with subtitles.

Suitable for those with an understanding of technical terms used in relation to vision and the brain. Narrated by Andrew BlaikieUniversity of St AndrewsVideo Link:

Click here to watch the 7 minute technical version with subtitles.

This uses lay language but is quite fast paced. Narrated by Gordon DuttonUniversity of St AndrewsVideo Link:

Click here to watch the 5 minute lay version with subtitles.

To follow soon:
Two shorter videos from this series will follow in the next few weeks, one specifically related to children with complex learning needs, and another relating specifically to children in mainstream schools.

Project History

The way we have developed this preliminary simulation has been to listen in detail to the described visual experiences of adults with CVI who have diagnosed dorsal stream dysfunction, including simultanagnostic vision.

Initially we took videos inside a shop, to show the visual complexity of this exercise.

We then asked volunteer adults with dorsal stream dysfunction to give an auditory account of what they were able to see.

We simulated their verbal description, and asked them to view these simulations and to let us know how realistic they were. The results were fascinating.

We used this information to come up with our next simulation called the Dorsal Stream Dysfunction CVI Experience.

This was viewed by several adults with validated marked dorsal stream dysfunction, who explained that when they compared the simulated version of this video with the version that was not simulated, the experience was very similar.

Encouraged by these results our team has gone on to develop the material you see on this page, which has been validated using the same method.

There is of course a philosophical conundrum in seeking validation of this nature. How can the person with simultanagnostic vision from an early age give an opinion of this nature? Doesn't their simultanagnosia preclude them from providing such an analysis?

Recognising this conundrum, we have also sought the help from an adult with acquired simultanagnosia during teenage years who has the facility to compare her current vision with her memory of her previous 'normal' vision. This witness has affirmed that what we are now showing has great verisimilitude to her actual simultanagnostic visual experiences.

Another way we have sought to ensure that what we are showing is as close as possible to what those who experience simultanagnosia every day, is to recognise that simultanagnosia is a dynamic, not a static phenomenon and that it becomes more marked when looking at greater complexity. This means that when viewing the most constrained visual emulations of simultagnostic vision those with the condition are least affected by it, because the peripheral masking we have created becomes evident to them owing to the overall diminished complexity of the simulated imagery.

Validation Team (each with a diagnosis of dorsal stream dysfunction and validated simultanagnostic difficulties)
Three Able adults with dorsal stream dysfunction from birth.
One able adult with acquired dorsal stream dysfunction as a teenager.
One parent of a child aged over ten with dorsal stream dysfunction since birth.
One parent of a child aged over ten with acquired dorsal stream dysfunction.

Our thanks to University of St Andrews School of Computer Science Students:
Hafeez Abdul-Rahaman 2018/9 Final Year Undergraduate Project
Cristina Bikanga Ada 2020/21 Final Year Undergraduate Project
Cameron Wilson 2020/21 Masters Degree Project

One of our virtual reality classrooms.One of our virtual reality classrooms.


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About Us

At CVI Scotland we are devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, and together working towards developing the understanding of this complex condition.