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If you have problems with mathematics, reading, and perhaps also motor skills, it is quite possible that the explanation lies in your vision. This is at least the point for researchers at NTNU according to

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Inside the eye, on the retina, are lots of cells that respond to their own types of stimuli. Some prefer certain colors, others respond to contrasts or movement. In sum, all this becomes our total visual experience.

A group of cells is called magnocells. They are the ones that respond to rapid movements, send signals from the eye and inwards into the brain and turn the visual experience into a living film. Without these cells, we would just take in a series of still images with no direct connection, much like a cartoon.

NTNU researchers now suspect that poorly functioning magnocells may explain several learning difficulties and developmental problems. 


Learning difficulties often occur together

They illustrate it as follows:

Imagine receiving a ball, if you can not get a precise impression of how the ball moves towards you. Then you quickly become a little clumsy. Or, as the professionals will say: You have lower motor precision. points out that between three and eight percent of school children have major problems with learning mathematics (dyscalculia), and that about half of these also have major reading difficulties (dyslexia), and often motor development problems.

Furthermore, they point out that it has long been known that several types of learning difficulties often occur together. But the cause has not been known.


Need for more concrete, visual aids

Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson is behind a study that shows that children who have major mathematical difficulties, at the same time have significantly poorer perception of vision that is associated with rapid changes in the environment.

This leads researchers to believe that visual acuity is related to learning disabilities. points out that there may be small disturbances in the visual system, but which can also have major consequences - in the form of various types of learning difficulties.

This shows that when you discover tendencies to learning difficulties in a child in one area, you should wait to find it in several other areas, says the professor.

Sigmundsson points out that the new research on underlying causes of learning difficulties will lead to a new view of pedagogical methods.

The pedagogical challenge will be to find learning methods that enable the visual information to better reach the areas in the brain that will process it further, says Sigmundsson.



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