Tuesday, September 01, 2015 08:00 AM

OBSERVATORY: BLIND SPOT CAN BE TRAINED AWAY, A STUDY SAYS

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The human eye has a blind spot, though few of us realize it. Now, a new study[1] suggests that it is possible to reduce the spot with training.

The optic nerve, which carries visual signals to the brain, passes through the retina, a light-sensitive layer of tissue. There are no so-called photoreceptors at the point where the optic nerve intersects the retina. The right eye generally compensates for the left eyes blind spot and vice versa, so the spot is hardly noticed.

Researchers trained 10 people using a computer monitor and an eye patch. The participants were shown a waveform in the visual field of their blind spot day after day. After 20 days of this repeated stimulation, the blind spot shrunk by about 10 percent.

The researchers believe that neurons at the periphery of the blind spot became more responsive, effectively reducing the extent of functional blindness.

The findings add to a growing body of ...

News source: The New York Times

See also: Wake Opthalmology