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with Lynne McAlister and Sara Kitchen, Certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired.

Lynne: The first characteristic is color. Color receptors are scattered throughout the brain. And color is, um...almost all people have some kind of visual color sense. The theory is that certain colors may be more attractive to people with CVI. They can basically see them better. Traditionally, this have been the bright red, bright yellow. But that's not the case for everyone. And so, we really want to kind of make that point that, you know, when you start looking for these characteristics, be open to the fact... "Oh. They have CVI. I'm gonna give them a yellow basket.” You know, it might not be yellow or red.

Sara: Right. And these colors can really work as a visual anchor for the kids. They can... Because...since they can see that color, they can maybe begin to see more of the object if there are other colors. At first, they're gonna be able to see things that are in that particular color. And it maybe something that they've...we're not really sure why a certain color would be one that they would be able to see the best. One of the people during with the TETN we did, one of the teachers theorized that one of her student was, um, would look at blue...then she found out later that the child's room was all blue. And so, blue was what the child had been exposed to...

Lynne: Uh-hmm.

Sara: ...and was most familiar. I mean, we don't really know exactly why, but sometimes it might help to go and look at the things that are in this child's environment. Of course, you're gonna find out what kind of things the child will look at from finding out about people...from people who know the child.

Lynne: Uh-hmm.

Sara: And in that same, um, within the same characteristic of color is, um...as it moves up, the resolution chart, it moves on to pattern. Sometimes kids will be attracted to a certain pattern as well.

Lynne: Uh-hmm.

Sara: We have a couple of videos. First, I wanna show this video of this child and what we were....What we used were those little gel things that come with the APH with the light box and all that.

And so we had red and yellow. So, we use red and yellow. But you can see in this video, this child is really looking at only one of them. She doesn't even look at the first thing that's presented which is yellow. And then, when the red comes in, it's like she can't look away. She's much more interested in the red.

[Video Dialog]

Really not very interested in the yellow at all.

I'm going from one state to another.

There we go.

[grunt]

[end Video Dialog]

Sara: The next two videos we're gonna watch are higher up on the color resolution chart. And they really have to do with stripes. Stripes are a pattern that we saw these two children both being attracted to. The first child is somebody who doesn't look at things that are a whole lot of colors. So, he's attractive to the stripieness, but the multiple colorness is a little bit rough. So, you're gonna see him looking and then looking away, and then looking. But he's very drawn to those stripes. More than he is drawn to things that are...He wasn't drawn to horizontal stripes. He was only drawn to those vertical stripes. And the second child you're going to see was the child that we really didn't find a color preference for, but we did find a pattern preference for her. And it was again, it was stripes. For her, the stripes could be horizontal or vertical or, you know, at a wonky angle.

Lynne: Uh-hmm.

Sara: But the stripes were very attractive to her as well. And you can see her reaching for them. She may not have understood what kind of visual that information that was. And it was just a shadow.

Lynne: Uh-hmm.

Sara: So, let's watch these two examples of the pattern being, um...something that draws the visual attention.

[Video Dialog]

What do you wanna do?

[inaudible]

Brush, brush, brush.

[end Video Dialog]

Lynne: In my research, I came across a study that was done quite a long time ago with World War II that transcend where head injured...What they did is they...These people were effectively blind from CVI, from head injuries. And they would show them different objects, and ask them if they could tell what color they were. And the people would say, "I can't see it." And they said, "Well, why don't you guess?" And 100% of the time in the study, they guessed correctly. So, they named this phenomenon, blind sight, where vision was actually taking place without, you know, without the person being consciously aware that they were seeing something.

Sara: That is so interesting.

Lynne: Yes.

Sara: And, you know, I was at a training recently, where the trainer was talking about how there's current research being done using a lot of people who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, who are also have head injuries and cortical visual impairment. So, it will be really interesting to see what comes out of that.

Lynne: Uh-hmm.