Eyelander, a new computer game developed by neuroscientists in the United Kingdom’s University of Lincoln in cooperation with the WESC Foundation, aims to improve the functional vision of children who are affected by sight injuries as the result of brain injury, rather than injury to the eye itself.

Functional vision is used to perform everyday tasks such as safely crossing the road or finding a book on a bookshelf. However, when the visual pathways between the brain and the eyes become damaged, the messages aren’t correctly relayed and the visual field becomes reduced.

How It Works

According to a media release from University of Lincoln, the game is designed so that in early levels, players must find a shape on-screen that is surrounded by a group of similar “distracting” shapes. Once identified, the player must then track the movement of that shape. More distracting shapes and multiple colors are introduced as the game progresses.

The game also features advanced options to adapt the difficulty to the specific cognitive and visual disability of the person playing, such as changing the size or number of shapes, and the amount of time the player has to complete each level.

The game is said to expand on existing training programs that offer black and white, two-dimensional shapes and no user interaction. Eyelander is designed to be effective by leveraging factors associated with neuroscience and psychology. Clinical trials scheduled to begin in summer 2015 will evaluate whether the value of Eyelander in treating vision disabilities among children and young adults.

[Source: University of Lincoln]