Visual perceptual skills encompass a variety of abilities required for interpreting and comprehending visual information, including visual-spatial, visual evaluation (also referred to as visual information processing), and visual-motor integration. The potential of the brain to understand and process what the human eye sees is referred to as visual perceptual skills. This ability is crucial as it is necessary for several everyday tasks such as driving, reading, playing, writing, etc.
Studies have shown that the visuo-perceptual skills of individuals decline with age, which makes it even more important to tend to the brain areas that keep these skills in continuous control. Having mentioned that, the article here enlists a few activities that can prove to act as a mental workout for the adult population. These could be useful in bridging the gap between vision and perception and maintaining the functionality of these skills.
Visual perception – Real-life instance
- Driving being a daily life activity uses visual perception skills on multiple levels. It requires these complex skills in switching lanes, perceiving the distance between the vehicles around, and even reading laterally inverted signs, like those of an Ambulance.
- In order to work efficiently, a security guard requires quick and well-established visual perception skills to be able to have a stronghold over the security cameras simultaneously.
- Artists make use of visual perception skills in their daily lives. When artists add dimensions to their art pieces, it shows the use of visual perception skills to make the spatial arrangement of a 1-D painting look like a 3-D one.
Activities to refine visual perception skills
Visual perception is crucial in artwork, such as painting or graphic design. If you like to draw a lifelike square, you must use your visual perception to pick each color and draw each line perfectly. Following are some activities you can try.
1. Categorize the Day
Material Required: List of routine tasks, Pen, paper, Notebook,
What to do:
- Participants can list down the various things they do in an entire day and write them on paper.
- Next, they will be required to identify different categories in which those tasks lie. For example: Running 2k, Getting groceries, and getting documents printed, would comprise outdoor physical activity.
- Once the person has created at least 5 such categories, they will be asked to segregate the daily tasks under those headings.
This would help in determining the perception of the individual towards the tasks and the visual understanding of the efforts involved, and also refurbish the perceptual skills of matching pairs.
2. Double It
Material Required: Chalk, Board, and an Eyemask
How to do it:
- The participant will be required to blindfold themselves and take chalk in each hand.
- They will then be asked to do a warm-up activity of drawing circles with each hand, but both in a clockwise direction.
- Similarly, as a part of the warm-up, they will be required to draw two circles simultaneously, but in the anti-clockwise direction this time.
- Now, they will be asked to choose each hand for a particular direction, as the right hand for clockwise and the left for anti-clockwise.
- They will now be required to make circles simultaneously, but one in a clockwise direction and the other in the anti-clockwise direction.
This activity would aid in improving the visual memory skills along with visual-motor integration skills, thus allowing the individual to assess the connection of their motor and visual skills.
3. Arrow narrow
Material Required: Square pieces of paper, black marker
How to do it:
A moderator or anyone from the group will be required to help with this activity.
- The moderator will create a grid of 12×12, with square pieces of paper.
- Now the moderator will be asked to draw an arrow on each square in different linear directions (diagonally, right, left, up, down).
- After all the squares have arrows on the, it would look like a messy grid of arrows with no way out.
- This is where the participant will have to begin their work and manipulate the arrows from the beginning to end in such a way that it creates a way out of the grid.
- However, there will be a condition to which the participant will have to adhere, that is they can’t find out the way just by using arrows of one or two rows. They will have to use each and every arrow in each and every row and column to make their way out of the grid.
This activity would cater to the visuospatial skills of the individual while assessing their sense of direction and their perception of the object as a whole.
4. Mirroring stickers
Material Required: Toothpicks, flashcards, colored pens
How to do it:
- This would require a moderator of the activity to create some stick figures on the flashcards, with increasing difficulty, which could begin from something as simple as a plus sign to something as complex as, coinciding octagons.
- The moderator should make sure that a different color pen is used to show the overlapping areas of the figures.
- The participant will now be required to view the flashcard for 45 seconds at one go, and mirror the figure using the toothpicks to create them.
- The participant can ask to view the flashcard for a maximum of 3 times, with increasing difficulty.
- If he/she is not able to mirror it, they will be asked to move on to the next figure.
This activity can prove instrumental in improving an individual’s visual perception skills by focusing on their spatial arrangement skills through the use of toothpicks to mirror a 1D image into a 2D figure.
Material Required: Foam Toys, Foam Shapes, Basket
How to do It: The activity will require two individuals to moderate it successfully.
- In this activity, one adult will stand behind a line, and a defined area of movement but relatively bigger will be allowed for the other individual.
- The participant in the activity requiring the visuoperceptual practice will stand in the area of movement along with the basket.
- The other individual will be asked to start throwing the foam objects in the air toward the participant without making it obvious where they will throw it.
- The participant will then be required to perceive the spatial movement of the object and its direction and make sure to catch it in his/her basket.
- This would go on with increased difficulty, whereafter at 10 successful catches, the objects will be thrown in pairs with a gap of 2 seconds, and so on.
- The activity will continue until the participant fails to catch the object thrice, consecutively.
6. Pair up the shadow
Material Required: 24 square sheets, markers
How To Do It:
- This activity will have 24 square sheets with 12 pairs of figures distributed among the cards. Like if we plan to draw a purple square, then 2 sheets out of the 24 will have a purple square on them.
- Similarly, paired figures will be drawn and once all the 24 sheets are done, they will be placed on a table from the blank side up.
- The participant will be required to view one sheet at a time.
- They choose to view the sheet in any random order, however, the purpose of the activity is to eliminate pairs.
- Once the participant views one sheet, they will leave it with the figure side up, however after they choose to view the other sheet, and the figure that doesn’t match the already viewed sheet, then both the sheets will go back to the original position of the blank side up.
- This will go on until the participant identifies a pair of figures and then that pair of sheets will be eliminated from the grid.
This activity is curated to focus on the visual memory and visual distinction skills, creating a scope for extensive improvement in the visuoperceptual skills of the individual.
We perceive what we see, but is that really it? The concept of visual perception has helped us believe that there is more to just what we view, and a huge part of our perception relies on our visualization of the view. That is, our ability to be able to visualize the 3D’ness of an infact 1D painting.
Thus, it is important to keep these skills in check as we grow, and the activities mentioned above can help an individual keep those areas of the brain activated through rigor and logic, mixed with a little bit of fun.