Food for thought…

The APH CVI subsite has an extensive resource page complete with books and research articles written about teaching children with CVI. Research from fields other than vision have been included. Researchers studying the brain for other reasons may help explain some of the questions surrounding CVI…and may spur some ideas for strategies and accommodations.

Ongoing project:

“When children and young adults of Project Prakash see the world for the first time, they have difficulty assembling parts of a scene into an integral whole. A photograph of girls dancing demonstrates the problems involved. Fragments of color, brightness and texture need to be organized by the visual system into coherent objects. Success comes when a collection of static objects, with defined borders starts to move. The brain integrates rhythmic steps and up thrown arms into the perception of a single, integral entity, the shape of the dancers’ bodies.”

“The Prakash patient raises a question that has preoccupied scientists for nearly a century: What cues allow us, as individuals with normal vision, to parse complex images correctly? The answer seems to lie in the way that the brain naturally arranges visual inputs by what are known as grouping heuristics (referred to as *Gestalt cues of grouping, after the psychological research movement in the early 20th century).”

Sinha, P. (2015, January 22). Once blind and now they see: Surgery in blind children from India allows them to see for the first time and reveals how vision works in the brain. Retrieved from

Gestalt means when parts identified individually have different characteristics to the whole (Gestalt means “organised whole”) e.g. describing a tree – it’s parts are trunk, branches, leaves, perhaps blossoms or fruit….but when you look at an entire tree, you are not conscious of the parts, you are aware of the overall object – the tree.
Parts are of secondary importance even though they can be clearly seen
.                Author unknown (2015, March 20). Gestalt Theory of Visual Perception. Retrieved from

*  “Gestalt principles, or gestalt laws, are rules of the organization of perceptual scenes. When we look at the world, we usually perceive complex scenes composed of many groups of objects on some background, with the objects themselves consisting of parts, which may be composed of smaller parts, etc. How do we accomplish such a remarkable perceptual achievement, given that the visual input is, in a sense, just a spatial distribution of variously colored individual points? The beginnings and the direction of an answer were provided by a group of researchers early in the twentieth century, known as Gestalt psychologists. Gestalt is a German word meaning ‘shape’ or ‘form’. Gestalt principles aim to formulate the regularities according to which the perceptual input is organized into unitary forms, also referred to as (sub)wholes, groups, groupings, or Gestalten (the plural form of Gestalt). These principles mainly apply to vision, but there are also analogous aspects in auditory and somatosensory perception. In visual perception, such forms are the regions of the visual field whose portions are perceived as grouped or joined together, and are thus segregated from the rest of the visual field. The Gestalt principles were introduced in a seminal paper by Wertheimer (1923/1938), and were further developed by Köhler (1929), Koffka (1935), and Metzger (1936/2006; see review by Todorović, 2007). For a modern textbook presentation, including more recent contributions, see Palmer (1999).”

Todorovic, D. (2015, January 30). Gestalt Principles. Retrieved from