Could a Video Game be the Key to Improving Functional Vision for Children with Vision Disabilities?

A team of neuroscientist and video game designers from the University of Lincoln, UK and the WESC Foundation, a leading specialist school for children with disabilities in the UK, have been testing a new computer game which may help some children with disabilities lead independent lives.  The game called Eyelander is designed to improve the functional vision of children who have vision disabilities related to brain injury.

Functional vision is a component of everyday tasks such as safely crossing a road or locating a book on a shelf. Damage to the visual pathways between the brain and the eyes prevents messages from being properly relayed, resulting in a reduction in the visual field.

The goal is to combine neuroscience and psychology with expert game development to create a game that is effective and engaging. The gamer works on skills that relate to functional vision by helping the main character, Eylander, safely escape from an erupting volcanic island by navigating a series of obstacles and progressing through 12 levels.

Research will be through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, and the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) have awarded £93,000 in funding.

To participate in the trial you can contact Johnathan Wadding from the WESC Foundation.

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