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Title: The effect of visual training on visual function in adults with self-reported reading difficulties
Author: Mikailionyte, Agne
ISNI:       0000 0004 9351 5985
Awarding Body: Kingston University
Current Institution: Kingston University
Date of Award: 2020
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Reading difficulties (RD) affect more than 6.3 million people in the United Kingdom. Previous research suggests that adults with RD may have reduced visual attention, which contributes to the inability to read. Studies on dyslexic children reported that 20 hours of visual training by video gaming improved visual function more so than a year of reading therapy. Yet, it is unknown whether adults display the same improvements. In this study, initially adults without RD with a previous video gaming experience were assessed. Visual function was measured using psychophysical tests. The results confirmed that gamers had generally higher contrast sensitivity (CS) compared to non-gamers, specifically at temporal CS 20 Hz (p = 0.006). Secondly, participants took part in a 120-hour video-game-based training period, using either an action or casual game, to establish whether training improves CS. The results indicated that it is possible to train the human visual system and enhance CS especially action game training at peripheral temporal CS 24 Hz (p = < 0.05). Next, a shorter training period of 40 hours was assessed, which was more effective than 120 hours, resulting in peripheral temporal CS 24 Hz improvements after casual gaming (p = 0.047). The improvement in CS after visual training remained stable for at least 4 weeks. Next, adults with RD were trained with 40 hours of training and showed an improvement in central temporal CS 20 Hz (p = 0.049) but less than in subjects without RD. Finally, a shorter training period of 2 weeks in adults with RD proved to be less effective in improving CS. In result, visual training using video gaming improved visual function in RD, which may be due to improved visual attention. Video game play may serve as an accessible and inexpensive therapeutic tool in alleviating self – reported RD in adults.
Supervisor: Mackenzie, Francesca ; Augousti, Andy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: reading difficulties ; video gaming ; visual training