Special eye tests are created for athletes

HOUSTON (UPI) — A U.S. optometrist says he has developed a series of tests designed to replace the standard eye chart to gauge athletes’ special visual abilities.

University of Houston Assistant Professor Kevin Gee said athletes need above average vision to engage their special skills. To that end, Gee founded the Sports Vision Performance Center, a facility where athletes work to improve their visual abilities.

“The visual system is more than just ‘what’s the smallest line on the chart you can see,'” Gee said. “The visual system consists of many things, but specifically for sports, depth perception, color, speed and accuracy of movements and contrast sensitivity — or the ability to detect an object off a background.”

To assess those skills, Gee and his staff use instruments such as a 3-D movie that measures depth perception, a lighted batting test to gauge timing and accuracy, and a DynavisionT board — a vertical lighted peg board — that determines reaction time, peripheral awareness and accuracy of movement.

The new center is located on the University of Houston campus.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International


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