BrightStar’s computer technology helps to stimulate magnocells to provide improved, involuntary eye control during reading. This facilitates reading, learning and motor skills, and makes these activities easier to accomplish.

Before a person can see, visual information must take myriad twists and turns through various systems and structures in the brain. As this visual information travels it grows in complexity.

At some point, the information splits off into two different visual pathways:

  • human-brain-visual-pathways

    The upper, dorsal stream 
    The upper, dorsal stream relates to our spatial understanding: WHERE we are and HOW we guide movement in relation to the things around us and to our environment. This stream helps us to orientate and allows us to see whether our eyes are still or moving. This is the stream of visual information that communicates with the parts of our brains responsible for controlling our eye and hand movements.
      

  • The lower, ventral stream 
    The lower, ventral stream helps us identify, recognize, and categorize WHAT we see.
      

Nerve Cells

Research has shown that these two different visual pathways enlist the help of two very different kinds of nerve cells to help them process and carry visual information to other parts of the brain. 

  • Large, ‘Magnocellular’ cells 
    BrightStar-Science-magnocells‘Magnocells’ or M-cells carry visual neural information along the upper, dorsal stream of the brain to help us understand motion. This magnocellular visual pathway tells us all about the ‘where’ of things: WHERE objects exist in relation to ourselves and HOW we guide our movement in relation to those objects, but not what they look like. The magnocellular visual stream signals us to an awareness of the time properties of objects. For instance, detection of the movement, distance, and speed of an object moving towards us. 
     

  • BrightStar-Science-parvocellsSmall, ‘Parvocellular’ cells
    ‘Parvocells’ or P-cells carry visual information along the ventral stream of the brain. They help us process visual information about shape, size, color, clarity, contrast, and detail. This parvocellular visual stream is our primary source for helping us understand visual information related to the appearance of objects: the WHAT of things.

Primary Vision in critical or important situations

Primary visual information is mostly concerned with the WHERE and HOW of the situation. This kind of information is particularly relevant in critical or otherwise important situations. The what information in those situations (for instance: the colour of it, or the way it moves) serves no critical purpose, and is demoted to ‘secondary’.

When safety, instant action and steep learning curves are concerned, all depends on a fast, efficient processing of visual motor information in the magnocellular pathway: the where of things and how to act.

When safety, instant action and steep learning curves are concerned, all depends on a fast, efficient processing of visual motor information in the magnocellular pathway: the where of things and how to act.

Visual Motion Perception during reading and learning

The primary type of visual motion perception is extremely important during early development, especially for young people experiencing dyslexia, dyspraxia or learning disorders like ADHD and ADD.

When the brain has trouble sensing and interpreting quick-moving visual stimuli that lasts for only short bursts, it will lead to poor planning and clumsy execution of the body’s movements, such as eye-hand coordination and motor skills.

BrightStar

BrightStar’s computer technology helps to stimulate magnocells to provide improved, involuntary eye control during reading. This facilitates reading, learning and motor skills, and makes these activities easier to accomplish. 

For young people, following one of our programs makes a vast difference in the ability to read passing words on a page of text.

Scientists, parents and educators have witnessed improvements in literacy – such as faster word retrieval and recognition – and in reading fluency and comprehension.

Scientists, parents and educators have witnessed improvements in literacy – such as faster word retrieval and recognition – and in reading fluency and comprehension. 

Sources for this article & quotes 

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    2. Sensitivity to dynamic auditory and visual stimuli predicts nonword reading ability in both dyslexic and normal readers (1998), Witton, C. et al.Current Biology, vol. 8, pp. 791-797
    3. Two Visual Motion Processing Deficits in Developmental Dyslexia Associated with Different Reading Skills Deficits (2004), Wilmer, J. et al.Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 528-540
    4. Visual motion sensitivity in dyslexia: evidence for temporal and energy integration deficits (2000), Talcott, J. et al.Neuropsychologia, vol. 38, pp. 935-943
    5. Reading with an M Neuron: How a Defective Magnocellular Pathway Interferes with Normal Reading  (1994), Steinman, B.A. et al., Vision and Reading, GB Putnam’s Sons, pp. 209-228 
    6. The magnocellular theory of developmental dyslexia (2001), Stein, J.,  Dyslexia, vol. 7, pp. 12-36
    7. To see but not to read; the magnocellular theory of dyslexia (1997), Stein, J. et al.Trends Neurosci., vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 147-152
    8. The magnocellular deficit theory of dyslexia: the evidence from contrast sensitivity  (2000), Skottun, B.Vision Research, vol. 40, pp. 111-127
    9. Yellow filters can improve magnocellular function: motion sensitivity, convergence, accommodation, and reading (2005), Ray, N. et al.Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., vol. 1039, pp. 283-293
    10. The effect of contrast on reading speed in dyslexia (2000), O’Brien, B. et al., Vision Research, vol. 40, pp. 1921-1935
    11. A selective impairment of motion perception following lesions of the middle temporal visual area (MT) (1988), Newsome, W. et al.The Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 8, No. 6, pp. 2201-2211
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