Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

To train the eye, keep it simple

31.03.2005


Researchers find that human eyes learn best in an uncluttered setting



If athletes, soldiers and drivers must perform every day in visually messy environments, common sense suggests that any visual training they receive should include distractions and disorder. New research from the University of Southern California and UC Irvine suggests common sense is wrong in this case.

The human vision system learns best in "clear display" conditions without visual noise, said co-authors Zhong-Lin Lu and Barbara Anne Dosher. Their findings appear in a pair of articles in the current issue of PNAS. The research has long-range implications for rehabilitation therapy, treatment of individuals with "lazy eye" or related disorders and training of soldiers, police officers and other personnel who must make split-second decisions in chaotic situations. "Now you can simplify training a lot," said Lu, a professor of psychology in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "Soldiers, for example, have to operate with goggles and all kinds of (visual) devices. Pilots have other kinds of goggles, video displays. They operate in different environments with different kinds of noise and different kinds of interference." "What these results show is, in fact, you only need to train them in a clear display environment."


In their studies, Lu and Dosher asked subjects to identify the orientation of simple geometric patterns flashed on a screen. The subjects’ performance improved dramatically after several sessions, in line with other studies that have shown the human eye to be highly trainable. The difference came in the way subjects adapted to different environments. Those subjects who were trained with clear displays also showed improvement with noisy displays. The reverse was not true: Subjects trained with noisy displays performed no better with clear displays. "That was a huge surprise to us," Lu said. "High noise training comes for free."

The researchers believe that noisy displays impose an artificial limit on a subject’s potential improvement. The roughness of the image trains the eye’s "filtering" ability but also masks the internal flaws of the visual system.

In clear display training, by contrast, the eye can focus entirely on reducing the intrinsic noise of human visual processes (the researchers refer to this process as "stimulus enhancement"). In addition, Lu said, clear display training may strengthen image recognition by improving perceptual templates.

The results also suggest that the two types of perceptual learning studied – noise filtering and stimulus enhancement – take place in different areas of the visual system. By training each eye separately, Lu, USC graduate student Wilson Chu, Dosher and USC undergraduate Sophia Lee found that noise filtering transferred completely from the trained eye to the untrained eye. Stimulus enhancement transferred only partially.

This implies that noise filtering is a "binocular" mechanism that serves both eyes at once, the researchers propose. Stimulus enhancement, on the other hand, is "monocular": The eye that is trained receives most of the benefit.

The researchers concluded that for optimal training, each eye should be trained separately in clear displays.

"Then you’re done," Lu said.

Carl Marziali | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>