Genetically we are born with a certain level of visual acuity and perception, however, you can train yourself to become more efficient in these areas. A study done at the University of California showed that a select group of baseball players at the university improved their eyesight by 31% on average when using a given visual training game.
Increasing your peripheral vision can in fact be achieved through peripheral vision eye exercises.
So what is Peripheral Vision exactly?
Peripheral Vision is the part of our vision that is outside the center of our gaze, and it is the largest portion of our visual field.
FAST FACT: The humans have the one of the weakest ranges of Peripheral Vision when compared to other species.
Peripheral vision is broken down into three segments of the field of view:
Far-peripheral vision: the vision at the edge of the field of view
Mid-peripheral vision: the vision in the middle of the field of view
Near-peripheral vision: the vision just adjacent to the center of gaze
The goal of Peripheral Vision activities is to train you to become more aware the objects to the left and right of your center of gaze. With that being stated, there’s a mental component as well as visual at play that needs to be developed. Below are a few exercises that will help you to become quicker with recognizing and processing images outside of your center of gaze. In relation to reading, this benefit can enable you to anticipate upcoming text and move through sentences faster.
While looking directly at the smiley face, Starting from the letter “J”, try to read the other letters surrounding letters without moving your gaze from the smiley face. Do this exercise 3-5 times (be sure to take a quick break to allow your eyes to relax before the next exercise). When you’re able to read the recognize the letters with ease, move on to the next exercise.
Once you’re comfortable with the exercise above, try picking some reading material and applying the concept to your reading.
You’ll find that the more you practice this concept, the faster your awareness will increase.