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Adult Learner > Factors > Visual Processing

Visual Processing

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Visual Processing allows us to understand what we see and is essential for reading, writing, and math. Visual Processing skills help us recognize and order visual information. Those individuals who have learning challenges, most notably dyslexia, may have difficulty with Visual Processing.

Main Ideas

Difficulties with Visual Processing can occur even when a learner has good Vision. Visual Processing can impact adult learning in multiple ways:

  • Visual Discrimination is the ability to identify different visual stimuli. For reading, this helps us to distinguish between different letters.
  • Visual Sequencing is the ability to determine the order of images, words, or symbols.
  • Visual Spatial Processing is the ability to recognize the relation of objects in space to one another and to oneself. This is important for determining the arrangement of words, numbers, or shapes on a page.
  • Visual-Motor Integration refers to hand-eye coordination skills needed to physically write, type, and draw.

Overall Visual Processing, including the speed at which one processes visual stimuli, declines with age, with the sharpest drop occurring in the elderly over age 70. Research has shown that programs that promote cognitive and physical activity can help to mediate the decline in Visual Processing.

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