Five Peripheral Vision Functions and How To Improve Vision

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1 Getting The Gist of a Scene

Peripheral vision is important in getting the gist of a scene or figuring out where we are.

2 Visual Marketing and Peripheral Vision

Researchers in a recent study looked at the role of peripheral vision in marketing and consumer buying habits. The research suggests that giving consumers choices between two similar products helps the consumer “see” the products with peripheral vision where as a unique product among many similar products will not be seen as well. It is like the video which went viral of a man dressed like a bear walking through a group of people throwing balls. Viewers were asked to count how many time the balls were passed. Many people simply don’t see the bear. The bear is part of peripheral vision but so different from the visual task that it gets no attention.

3 Motion Recognition in Far Peripheral Vision

In a study on far peripheral vision, researchers noted,

Photo by William Bout on Unsplash

4. Acquiring Safe Driving Information

Safe driving requires both central vision and peripheral vision. A recent paper examined how drivers acquire information about their surroundings and noted the importance of peripheral vision, which is currently not testing by most driving tests. Researchers discussed,

5 Training Peripheral Vision

In a study of people who lost central vision, which is usually the part of our vision that we read with, researchers were successful in training people to read faster and faster using their peripheral vision. What is interesting is that both the trained and untrained part of the visual field improved.

One Exercise

Here is an exercise to improve peripheral vision and visual attention. Stand with your arms extended in front of you. Look straight ahead throughout the exercise. Slowly bring your hands and arms to the your side at shoulder level. Just as they go out of sight stop. Wiggle your fingers. Do you see your finger?

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Kimberly Burnham

Kimberly Burnham

Writer, Poet, Ekphrastic Writer-in-Residence, Nerve Whisperer, Brain Health Coach, Author of The Traveling Brain: Illuminating Peace Poetry in 5000 Languages.