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Academic Publications

Overview of sports vision

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Sports vision encompasses the visual assessment and provision of sports-specific visual performance enhancement and ocular protection for athletes of all ages, genders and levels of participation. In recent years, sports vision has been identified as one of the key performance indicators in sport. It is built on four main cornerstones: corrective eyewear, protective eyewear, visual skills enhancement and performance enhancement. Although clinically well established in the US, it is still a relatively new area of optometric specialisation elsewhere in the world and is gaining increasing popularity with eyecare practitioners and researchers. This research is often multi-disciplinary and involves input from a variety of subject disciplines, mainly those of optometry, medicine, physiology, psychology, physics, chemistry, computer science and engineering. Collaborative research projects are currently underway between staff of the Schools of Physics and Computing (DIT) and the Academy of Sports Vision (RAU).

Overview of sports vision. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269316287_Overview_of_sports_vision

The prevalence of poor ocular motilities in a mainstream school compared to two learning-disabled schools in Johannesburg

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Background: Ocular motilities play a major role when reading for the continuous acquisition and updating of visually presented information. Accurate oculomotor control is required to be able to learn how to read and to efficiently read to learn. This process requires accurate decoding accomplished by precise oculomotor control.Aim: A comparison of the prevalence of poor ocular motilities between mainstream and learning-disabled schools were explored from three different schools; one mainstream and two disabled schools. One hundred and ninety-two children, age range 8–13 years (mean = 10.30, s.d.: ± 0.999) in grades 3 and 4, with 112 children from the two learning-disabled schools and 80 children from the mainstream school participated in the study.Method: The standardised direct observation test, using the Northeastern State University College of Optometry scoring criteria, was used to evaluate saccadic and pursuit eye movements. Fixation maintenance was evaluated using the Southern California College of Optometry scoring criteria. The Gulden fixation stick with a 6/24 letter E was used as a fixation target.Results: The results showed that children from the learning-disabled schools appeared to have a higher incidence of poor saccadic accuracy compared with children from the mainstream school. No significant associations in both the mainstream and the learning-disabled children were found for head movements, pursuits and fixation ability. However, the results suggest a statistically significant association between poor saccadic accuracy and children from the learning-disabled schools. Conclusion: This study provides further evidence for a link between poor saccadic accuracy and children from the school of the learning disabled. Keywords: Ocular motor dysfunction, saccadics, pursuits, learning disability, schools, fixation ability, visual attention
The prevalence of poor ocular motilities in a mainstream school compared to two learning-disabled schools in Johannesburg (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303904721_The_prevalence_of_poor_ocular_motilities_in_a_mainstream_school_compared_to_two_learning-disabled_schools_in_Johannesburg

The effects of a visual intervention programme on the visual skills of professional football players

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Decision-making is a complex process which involves multiple systems in the body. Football players are required to make numerous decisions in a match. Players are exposed to many stimuli on the field which they must recognise and interpret before making a decision. Perception is the first stage in the decision-making process. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a visual intervention programme on the visual skills of senior professional football players. The sample consisted of 22 male football players aged between 20 and 31. Participants underwent a full visual test battery which assessed visual acuity, accommodation, contrast sensitivity, stereopsis, fusion flexibility, central-peripheral awareness, eye-hand co-ordination, visual adjustability and colour discrimination. Intervention consisted of an eight-week basic vision training programme. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05 and practical significance was set at Cohen’s d>0.5 and r>0.3 (effect size). There were significant improvements found in stereopsis (pre-test: 61.14±34.08; post-test: 47.05±28.31), accommodation (pre-test: 18.95±3.79; post-test: 24.05±7.39), contrast sensitivity (pre-test: 1.09±0.29; post-test: 1.43±0.60), fusion flexibility (pre-test: 13.23±3.18; post-test: 17.36±4.68), central-peripheral awareness (pre-test: 33.36±10.12; post-test: 35.59±8.58), hand-eye co-ordination (pre-test: 28.68±6.11; post-test: 32.73±6.11) and visual adjustability for up (pre-test: 3.36±1.73; post-test: 4.14±2.27), left (pre-test: 8.05±3.93; post-test: 6.91±4.31) and right (pre-test: 9.73±3.21; post-test: 8.14±3.33). Thus, the visual training programme significantly enhanced the visual skills of the participating football players. The promising results from this study could possibly lead to improved football performance during matches in players who perform this visual training programme.
The effects of a visual intervention programme on the visual skills of professional football players. Available from:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309668373_The_effects_of_a_visual_intervention_programme_on_the_visual_skills_of_professional_football_players

 

THE ACADEMY OF SPORTS VISION AFTER 5 YEARS

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The role of vision in sports performance is a subject that has always attracted considerable attention. The modern origin of sports vision was founded by Abel (1924) and Fullerton (1925) who studied the visual abilities of the famous baseball player, Babe Ruth, and concluded that his superior vision was the reason for his exceptional hitting ability.

African Vision and Eye Health

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The prevalence of poor ocular motilities in a mainstream school compared to two learning-disabled schools in Johannesburg

 Ocular motilities play a major role when reading for the continuous acquisition and updating of visually presented information. Accurate oculomotor control is required to be able to learn how to read and to efficiently read to learn. This process requires accurate decoding accomplished by precise oculomotor control.

 A comparison of the prevalence of poor ocular motilities between mainstream and learning-disabled schools were explored from three different schools; one mainstream and two disabled schools. One hundred and ninety-two children, age range 8-13 years (mean = 10.30, s.d.: ± 0.999) in grades 3 and 4, with 112 children from the two learning-disabled schools and 80 children from the mainstream school participated in the study.

African Vision and Eye Health – The prevalence of poor ocular motilities in a mainstream school compared to two learning-disabled schools in Johannesburg

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