Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Strobe eyewear training may improve visual abilities

20.05.2011
Strobe-like eyewear designed to train the vision of athletes may have positive effects in some cases, according to tests run by a team of Duke University psychologists who specialize in visual perception.

The eyewear has lenses that alternate between clear and opaque states, producing a strobe experience. Nearly 500 people participated in more than 1,200 training sessions and had their visual abilities tested before and after they wore the eyewear. They completed visual-motor tasks, such as catching and throwing a ball, as well as computer-based tests.

Once the eyewear is removed, the theory goes, the brain's visual processing has been trained to see the ball's path more clearly. The Duke psychologists found subjects experienced some improvements in noticing brief stimuli and detecting small changes in motion after training with the eyewear.

Anecdotally, some athletes who trained with the eyewear also report that the ball seems to have slowed down when they view it with regular vision afterwards, said Stephen Mitroff, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke who led the research.

The strobe eyewear has lenses that alternate between clear and opaque states at eight different rates, with a constant 100 milliseconds (one-tenth of a second) of clear vision between each opaque phase. At their most rapid flashing rate, the eyewear becomes opaque for 67 milliseconds, six times per second. At the slowest rate, they are opaque for 900 milliseconds, or 90 percent of each second.

Participants included Duke athletes in varsity football, men's basketball and men's and women's soccer, as well as students in club teams for ultimate Frisbee, volleyball and juggling, and other undergraduates.

Half of the participants trained with the strobe eyewear and the other half trained with control eyewear that was identical, but with clear lenses. All completed computer tasks that measured visual sensitivity and attention before and after training with the eyewear. The experiments were designed to evaluate whether those who wore the strobe eyewear would improve more after the training than those who wore the control eyewear, said postdoctoral researcher Gregory Appelbaum.

The research was funded by Nike, which developed the eyewear and is marketing it as Nike Vapor Strobe. The Duke team presented its findings May 6 in a poster session at the Vision Sciences Society in Naples, Fla.

Because this was a preliminary study, the researchers were unsure what measures would give them the clearest results. They tried several different lengths of exposure to the eyewear, different strobe rates and many physical and computer-based tasks. They found performance improvements in some tests, but not in all of them.

The Duke team measured slight improvements in some tests after only two 25-minute training sessions, and in both elite athletes and non-athletes. In other cases, they found no changes.

"Our results varied, but stroboscopic training does seem to enhance vision and attention," Mitroff said. "Not every test we tried showed differences, but several showed significant improvements."

For example, after training with the eyewear, participants were more sensitive to small amounts of motion. They also were better able to pick up visual details that were only available for about one-tenth of a second. Preliminary data also suggest a possible improvement at a dribbling skills test with the varsity soccer players.

The results show the eyewear does affect vision performance, but there is still much more to learn, said Mitroff, whose main body of research concerns the ability to see hidden objects in displays, such as security scans or radiological films. More research is needed to figure out how little or how much exposure to the eyewear has an effect, how long that effect may last and which skills are affected most.

"There are still many open questions," Mitroff said. "We don't know how long these effects last. We don't know much training is needed, and we don't yet have the whole picture on what is being trained."

Despite the lingering questions, Mitroff said the eyewear may be a great tool for looking at how the brain adapts to changing conditions and how visual cognition works.

Karl Leif Bates | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>