University of Edinburgh

VI Awareness

Presented on Friday 16 September 2011

How does vision develop?

What do we use vision for?

  • Gaining Information
  • Communication
  • Moving around

Awareness of the world, people and himself

"Interest in the world and in people is usually awakened through the eyes of a newborn baby and is reinforced by the visible joy of his parents in his responsiveness to them and his surroundings."

Distinction between Vision and Eyesight

Eyesight means visual acuity or how clearly we can see.

"‘Vision is our main coordinating sense" It helps us to understand our world and what is happening around us.
Professor Gordon Dutton

Development of the Eye

The visual system takes some time to develop.

Sequence of Visual Development

at Birth:

  • Prefers human face to other forms of stimulus.

One to two weeks:

  • Rudimentary Fixation on objects
  • May use one eye at a time
  • Fixates on facial expressions; may imitate
  • Prefers contours, vertical and horizontal edges, larger sizes, simple patterns

vision at birth

Contours and shapes

One to three months

  • Will stare at light source
  • Fascinated by bright lights and bright colours
  • Follows moving objects
  • Begins to swipe at objects
  • Begins to look within designs
  • Shifts eyes toward sound sources

vision at 3 months

Three to five months

  • Stereo vision
  • Macular development at its peak
  • Peripheral vision poor
  • Examines hands
  • Alternate gaze from hand to object and from object to object
  • Colour vision

vision 3 to 5 months

Five to seven months

  • Convergence occurs consistently
  • Responds differentially to facial expressions
  • Begins to demonstrate visual memory
  • Interested in tiny objects, shapes etc.
  • Emerging depth perception
  • Follows with eyes: not always the head

Up to one year

  • Eyes and head move together
  • Interest in shape sorters
  • Tracking
  • Interest in pictures

vision at a year

One to Two Years

  • Children may now learn how objects fit together
  • Shape, size, and form perception skills begin to develop
  • They may have an interest in seeing objects beyond three feet. This interest has often been associated with the development of crawling, reaching and walking.

vision before 2 years

About two

  • Scanning, fixing, tracking
  • Language becomes important to help point out likeness and differences
  • Between 18 months and 3 years
  • All accommodation develops
  • Visual Image recalled
  • Myelinization of anterior visual pathways complete by 24 months

True creativity, understanding and efficient learning occurs when we use the Left and Right (halves) of the brain together.

About three to four

4C's compare categorise comprehend communicate

Visualisation is the ability of the brain to remember the patterns of movement, the sequence of sounds and the feel of things.

About Four

  • Colour recognition; shadings, differentiations Sharpness and clarity of detail (fine movements)
  • Depth perception fully developed
  • Ball skills, tracking
  • Colour identification
  • Visual spatial orientation developing

vision at 4

Acknowledgements Liz Duguid, Occupational Therapist/Access Officer Clackmannanshire.

Sequence of Visual Development adapted from 'Preschool Vision Stimulation: It's more than just a Flashlight!' by Lois Harrell and Nancy Akeson, American Foundation for the Blind.

Videos: Zoom Resource c/o Zoom Learning, PO Box 13889, Edinburgh EH15 2WH

Exercises and activities: 'Movement and Learning', 'Children's Song Book' and music CD by Brendan O'Hara.