The aim of this project is to be able to accurately measure vision in children with cerebral visual impairment. The research will evaluate the ability of a new, noninvasive system, to assess smooth eye movements as a novel way to measure visual impairment in brain injured children.
Quantifying, treating, and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment of visual dysfunction in children with brain injury is a major medical challenge. These patients may not be able to follow directions and respond to questions used in traditional vision assessment. It is essential to accurately describe a patient’s visual deficits and capabilities. This not only allows for appropriate choices in treatment options, but for adaptations to the patient’s general therapeutic and educational programs as well.
Our approach requires only that subjects perform a simple task that is largely instinctive - following a moving stimulus with their eyes. E ye movements, which are detected with an eye tracking device, are assessed while visual scenes are slowly moved across a computer screen. When the system detects that the eyes are smoothly following the scene, music is played to encourage continued following. The absence or presence of smooth eye movements under conditions when the size, brightness and the speed of elements in the scenes are manipulated, can be used to quantify the way the brain processes visual information.