How do the BrightStar programs work?

The BrightStar programs uses a unique form of visual stimulation to ‘prime’ and retrain certain parts of the brain responsible for involuntary motor control of eye movements. The end result is a faster, more natural experience in reading and learning. From time to time, BrightStar programs display an image of a winding road in the center of the screen. The user navigates a car along a center line on this road with his/her computer mouse. This way the user easily exercises coordinating his/her eyes and hand movements repetitively. The user also tracks passively with his eyes a serial display of geometrical symbols at the center of the screen that briefly flicker and change of shape, size and color. Unlike many computer games, BrightStar Reader causes little or no excitement or arousal. The non-arousing effect of BrightStar programs is purposeful(!): by limiting cognitive arousal, the user remains relaxed and unstressed during the BrightStar sessions. The session has a three-fold purpose:

  • The nature of the exercise helps the user maintain his/her focus on the screen during the entire length of the session.
  • The user’s sustained focus on the center of the screen enables him/her to obtain the maximum benefit of the visual stimulation to his/her peripheral vision.
  • The repetitive hand-eye movements required for maneuvering the car involve the parts of the brain responsible for timing movement (cerebellum) as well as the user’s eye-tracking skills.

BrightStar’s technology prompts the brain to make beneficial adaptive changes in its neural networks which are involved in reading skills. It does this by remapping and coordinating the way the brain allocates visual attention and uses visual stimuli. The user will then be able to allocate his brain resources in a more efficient manner. As a result, the user will achieve greater reading fluency and comprehension, making for more effective and faster learning.

I cannot afford the program. Are you connected to any financial aid programs?

We are working on coordinating resources with agencies offering financial aid. Until such time as formal sources of financing are in place, we will give careful consideration to scholarship requests on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact us at: support@brightstar-learning.com

What are the moving lines in the screen?

The moving lines (‘sprites’) you see on the screen are an active part of the program. You should focus on the picture and not the moving lines entering the screen from the edges. Some of the lines will flash every once in a while – this is all normal and exactly what’s supposed to happen. The number of sprites, where they appear, their speed and frequency of the flashing are all factors tailored to the individual user.

Do the beneficial effects of BrightStar programs wear off at some point?

You will continue to see benefits after concluding the BrightStar programs because your brain is still responding to the cumulative effects of the program sessions. Your brain continues to adapt and retrain its neural circuits such that now it is better fitted to apply new learning strategies.

The brain will be more efficient in allocating attention to reading tasks, you will feel less pressured and more relaxed. As a result, you’ll find it easier to read and learn and such tasks will take much less time.

While there are no long term studies regarding how long these effects last, we believe that the manner in which the BrightStar programs achieve their benefits will result in a long-term or even permanent benefit. 

Can the BrightStar programs help even severe reading problems?

Use of BrightStar Reader can lead to improvements with reading difficulties or disabilities such as dyslexia, regardless of their severity. BrightStar Reader targets the root causes of reading challenges at the early sensory-motor level, regardless of the severity of the symptoms experienced.

Should I be doing anything specific while passively eye-tracking symbols in the center of the screen?

The BrightStar program passively steers your visual attention to smooth eye pursuit movements by serially displaying geometrical symbols in a number of lines at the center of the screen display. These geometrical symbols flicker fast, change in shape, size and color, thus stimulating magnocellular visual flow to efficiently reach the cerebellum and contribute to the correct execution of eye movements necessary for mastering reading. From time to time, you’ll be asked to either press Press-1-50 or abstain from pressing Don't-Press-1-50on the space key bar when you see certain signs. This clicking exercise measures your reaction time and ability to abort movement in the fly as a response to pattern recognition. 

Do I need to have an indication or be diagnosed first to use the program?

No, you don’t need to have an indication or be diagnosed in order to use BrightStar programs.

People who read at normal skill levels benefit from our technology, using BrightStar Booster or Builder. 

People with reading difficulties or challenges such as those experienced by slow or poor readers, can benefit from our technology by using BrightStar Reader.

Is BrightStar Reader more efficient at improving certain disabilities than others?

So far, BrightStar technology has been tested by people with normal reading skills, by people with dyslexia and by people with visual ADD who reported poor reading and writing performance. Additional data is still needed to determine if other learning disabilities can benefit from BrightStar Reader.

What if I am dyslexic, but my major difficulties are not spelling or reading but rather discrimination or perception (either visual or auditory) – can I still benefit from BrightStar Reader?

Yes! In children, for example, spelling and reading difficulties do not occur in a vacuum – both difficulties should be considered behaviors that represent a much broader underlying (early) developmental motor-perceptual (movement visual perception) deficit, be it spatial (movement in relation to other objects/environment) and/or temporal (the timing of movement). More to the point, despite the fact that many dyslexics are phonologically disabled—they find it difficult to assign sounds to letters or words – they are also challenged by perceptual audio-visual discrimination deficits (spatial/temporal). Despite the many facets that comprise their difficulties, some dyslexic adults, if they work at it, will in time succeed in compensating for some of the classical behavioral signs of dyslexia.

How does BrightStar Reader benefit learning difficulties other than dyslexia – ADD and ADHD for example?

BrightStar Program was conceived and developed as a sensory-motor visual perceptual technology that improves and triggers compensatory mechanisms for diminishing reading difficulties, reading disabilities, writing and spelling deficits. BrightStar Reader targets ‘basic language skill deficiencies’ in the population at large.

BrightStar Reader has a wider potential range of operation that exists independent of the educational psychology that packages and labels the above deficits into neat categories of learning disabilities. Today we know that there are overlaps between ADHD and dyspraxia with dyslexia at a rate of 50% to 60%. BrightStar Reader targets the deficiencies in language-based skills that accompany ADHD and/or dyspraxia, but does not target the impulsive behavior resulting from ADHD or the intrinsic lack of motor coordination and balance experienced by dyspraxics.

Why does BrightStar Reader place a focus on dyslexia?

BrightStar Reader aims to improve visual perception deficits that stem from poor involuntary eye movement control. This lack of involuntary eye movement control makes for poor recognition of fast-moving objects and their timing properties. These visual sensory-motor perceptual deficits are at the neurological core of an inability to read words as they ‘fly’ by us on the page and are often cited as the most common finding within the dyslexic population. For this reason, BrightStar Reader’s logical target audience is dyslexia and dyslexics. However, these same visual perceptual deficits also occur in other learning-disabled populations.

Does the Autonomic Nervous System benefit from BrightStar programs ?

Our theory is that the BrightStar programs affect the functioning of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). It is known and accepted by the scientific community that the ANS balance is affected by the need to address different types of visual information. For instance, you will feel relaxed by passively gazing at a beautiful landscape and taking in the scene as a whole by using your spatial attention. On the other hand, you will feel stress or tension, while discriminating (in detail) the colors you see when using your focused attention. The ANS is also known to be affected by mental tasks that require varying levels of voluntary effort. One of the main goals of the BrightStar programs is to remove or ameliorate these stressors from visual perception bringing about an overall heightened state of relaxation.

I have a learning difficulty that is not related to reading. Can BrightStar Reader still help me?

BrightStar Reader has been successfully tested to improve reading skills for slow readers and those with reading disabilities as Dyslexia. Reading problems often co-occur with other learning conditions and/or disabilities. Such as, ADHD, ADD, dyspraxia, working memory, or mild-speech disorders. At the moment, we welcome anyone whose core challenge is reading to enjoy the benefits of BrightStar Reader.

 

Missed a Session questions

What happens if I miss a session or two? Is there a way for me to continue the program?

If it has been less than 13 days since the missed session, you can go ahead and resume the sessions.

If it has been 2 weeks or longer since your last missed session, you might need to restart the current BrightStar session course (block of 4 sessions)

If you have you have already completed 3 consecutive sessions in the current BrightStar block of 4 sessions and it has been over 20 days, you do not need to complete the last session.

What if it's been more than 21 days since the missed session? Is there still a way for me to resume the sessions?

If you have completed 3 or 7 consecutive sessions, you do not need to complete the 4-th or 8-th session and can proceed with the next step in your BrightStar Program.
In all other cases you would need to restart the sessions from the beginning (if you have done only 1-st or 2-nd session) or restart from the 5-th session (if had a time gap after session #5 or #6)

What if I only did one session a week rather than two?

You can continue with the program, but in order to receive the maximum benefit from BrightStar program, try to stick to the session protocol. Complying with the recommended schedule and frequency of use is important to ensure best results with BrightStar Reader, Booster or Builder.

What if I skipped one of the first 4 sessions?

Not to worry—this won’t affect your final results. There’s no need to make up the missed session.

What if I skipped one of the last 4 sessions?

No problem—this won’t affect your final results and there’s no need to make up the missed session.

I finished 3 sessions in a row, but then missed a week. What should I do?

Just continue with the next session, session 4 as long as less than 21 days passed since session 3 was finished. Keep in mind that complying with our recommended schedule and frequency of use is important to ensure best results with the BrightStar programs.

I completed one or two consecutive sessions and didn't continue. Can I take up where I left off?

No. If you completed only one or two consecutive sessions and then discontinued the program and over 14 days passed, you’ll have to start over again from the beginning with session 1.

If my session was interrupted, what should I do?

If you completed 8-9 minutes or more of the session, you’re good—you’ve received sufficient benefits from the present session. Don’t start over again; just do your next session as scheduled.

If your session was interrupted at any point before the completion of the first 8 – 9 minutes, you should stop the current session, wait at least 30 minutes and start over again as soon as possible within the same day, in order not to deviate from the program schedule.

What if it's been more than 6 weeks since the missed session? Is there still a way for me to resume the sessions?

If it has been over 42 days since the missed session, your partial program results had expired and the program cannot continue.
You would need to contact the customer service to discuss the issue.

 

When will a refund take place?

We will refund your money within 4 weeks after having received your written request and after having verified you are eligible for it.

How does the 'Testimonials Special' discount offer Work?

If you’d like to write a testimonial upon the completion of the BrightStar Program on our Facebook page and website , we offer you the BrightStar program at $100 discount off the regular price. Please write us if you’d like the discounted license code to apply to your account.