Visual Perceptual Exam
Adult Eye Exams
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Visual Perceptual Exam
The visual perceptual exam encompasses a battery of standardized tests geared at studying the way the brain interprets and processes information. It is not the typical exam and so it does not use an eye chart. The ability to see 20/20 does not automatically mean that the patient has a normal ability to process visual information. Deficits in visual perception can affect school
performance and possibly sports. Keep in mind that deficits in visual perception affect how
visual information is interpreted or processed by the brain.
One of the items tested in the visual perceptual exam is laterality and directionality. Laterality is
the ability to recognize right and left on oneself. For example, laterality is the ability to
distinguish our right hand from our left hand. Directionality is the ability to know this orientation
of objects in space. Patients with directionality problems can have trouble with reversals. This
can make it hard to differentiate between a p and a q or a b and a p.
During the visual perceptual exam the patient’s will also be tested for ocular motor function,
specifically saccadic movements, which are the eye movements used with reading. It is the
ability to accurately fixate from one object to another. Trouble with saccades can cause letter
omission, skipping lines and trouble copying from the board. The second component is pursuit
movement, which is the ability to track objects that are in motion. This is used during sports.
The visual perceptual exam also tests visual discrimination, visual memory, spatial relations,
visual form constancy, and figure ground. These are the different ways in which the brain
interprets information. For example figure ground is the ability to locate an object even when
surrounded by a background or other images. This skill is helpful when a student is presented
with a lot of information at one time. If your child is struggling in school, having trouble copying
from the board or having problems finishing tests or homework in time, consider getting the
visual perceptual exam. This exam assumes the patient have normal vision of 20/20 so make
sure that your child has had a recent comprehensive eye exam first.