“Visual Perceptual skills involve the ability to organize and interpret the information that is seen and give it meaning.” Our eyes send large amounts of information to our brains to process every single second. If our eyes are sending us the proper information in a way that makes sense, the brain can then process it, thus allowing us to form thoughts, make decisions, and create action. In our office we both test for and treat the seven core visual perceptual skills. Below are the seven core visual perceptual skills, and a brief explanation of each:
1. Visual Memory – the visual skill that allows us to record, store and retrieve information. It allows us to learn and later recall what is learned. Look at the top picture below for 5 seconds, then cover it with your hand and see if you can find the match below:
2. Visual Sequential Memory – similar to visual memory in that it allows us to store and retrieve information when necessary or useful. However sequential memory helps us remember and recognize people, places we have been, and series of events, equations, and procedures. Can you remember the order of the planets without looking?
3. Visual Form Constancy – the visual skill that allows us to distinguish one object from another similar object. Being able to tell the difference between the letter “b” and “d” or “3” and “8”. Though the forms are similar in shape, they are very different in meaning. The ability to see and distinguish these differences is form constancy. Look at the top left card, and find the one item that is the same on the card to its right. See how many matches you can find:
4. Visual Figure Ground – the visual skill that allows us to distinguish, segregate, isolate or find an object or stimuli in varying environments. This can include faces, figures, objects, landscapes, and letters or numbers. Properly processing our visual figure ground helps to organize the information we see in our environment. Find the following items to the left and bottom of the picture hiding inside:
5. Visual Spatial Relations – the visual skill that allows us to process the visual environment around us and the location of objects in respect to ourselves. Which building is closer?!
6. Visual Closure – the visual skill that allows us to detect, differentiate, select, draw conclusions and understand information when we are only given certain pieces of information, rather than the entire account, story or explanation. Can you tell what this is a picture of?!
7. Visual Discrimination – each of the above six skills require some degree of visual discrimination. Visual Discrimination is the ability to identify detail, seeing items likes and differences in shape, color, position and orientation. How many differences can you find in these two similar pictures?!
Abby Asaad, COVT