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Visually impaired children with crowding problems can see better after training. Dissertation Radboud University Nijmegen to obtain the degree of doctor in the year 2014.
Bianca Huurneman developed a six-week training course that improves the visual skills of visually impaired children who suffer from crowding. Crowding refers to the reduced ability to recognize an object when it is surrounded by other objects. After training, children can see smaller objects up close. In addition, the training reduced crowding in a significant number of visually impaired children.
Children are more affected by crowding than adults, because their visual system is still developing. Crowding is more common in visually impaired children than in sighted children. The study on the effect of crowding training focused on 4- to 9-year-old visually impaired children without other disabilities. The training gives the children more attention to detail, they work faster and make fewer mistakes. There is also an improvement in near vision. After this training, the children appear to be able to see smaller details and move almost two lines further on the vision map.
Bianca Huurneman is a neuropsychologist and has been working at Bartiméus since 2009. She conducted research into crowding and obtained her doctorate in 2014 on the crowding training she developed. During the ophthalmic examination it appears whether a child suffers more from crowding than average. This is common in children with nystagmus, who have impaired eye motor skills.