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