Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Understanding Complex Visual Scenes

Studies like these are simple, but they provide strategies for helping children successfully negotiate their environment. Children with visual perceptual problems need training at finding relevant material in crowded situations. Visually busy areas with a lot of movement can be very overwhelming. An important goal is to help children find the salient, or most important features in a busy scene to help orientation. Decisions may be more difficult depending on a child's position in a location, visual angle of looking, the lighting, new materials (holiday decorations, flyers), distracting people or details, and other factors.

If there are recurrent crowded areas where a student becomes overwhelmed or lost, consider photographing it and verbally reviewing salient features to help with orientation. Once a child has mastered orientation in a picture, then bring them again to the busy location, and review the key visual features. Verbal mediation can compensate a great deal for visual figure ground difficulties - it's just hard to remember to check because most children won't tell you that visual overload or distraction is the problem.

Visual complexity of real world scenes

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