Visual Information Processing – Can it really be trained?


A recent piece published in OPO (Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics) throws shade on the notion that vision rehabilitation therapies have any effect on ameliorating academic performance. Here, have a look:

Full URL:

Does vision therapy for visual information processing improve academic performance? A randomised clinical trial

Needless to say, this paper was not well-received by the Vision Therapy community who rely heavily on the specific clinical models and thinking underlying the principles in question. The community immediately started launching (ill-advised) accusations of academic fraud and impropriety – ‘the data is bad’, ‘heavy bias’ even hints of suggested malice on the part of the authors – the comments can be found in the VTODs on Facebook group, which has restricted access. Here’s the post that starts the discussion:


This paper by Australian academics has just been published and was strongly presented at the World Congress of Optometry in Melbourne. It was used to attack behavioural optometry.

The data is from a study funded for another practitioner by ACBO in 2000 which was so badly done we refused to publish it , but it has been used by these authors in a thinly veiled attack on our care. No doubt it will be used by detractors around the world, so we need to develop as strong a response as possible.

I am interested in responses on weaknesses of the paper, and of references I can add to our response.

Steve Leslie, ACBO executive director

For reference, ACBO is the Australian College of Behahioural Optometry.

The link provides a downloadable pdf, but the online version contains additional supporting data which is important to the discussion. OPO is a renowned journal – myself and a distinguished cohort produced this piece for publication there recently: Reappraisal of the historical myopia epidemic in native Arctic communities“.

I’ll be working on a more comprehensive review of this article and this will be released to members only. It will provide ample commentary, review of principles and science sufficient to understand the article fully.

For now, suffice it to say that the article appears to be well-produced, good science at first glance, and is peer-reviewed. To immediately suggest the data was bad without showing this to be the case is bad politics in a world that is ready to devour the Vision Therapy community for years of dubious claims and little research of its own to back up those claims.

Vision Rehabilitation is critically important to those who need it. It’s important to make clear what works, what is religion. That said, strong science and research are always the best argument.

Watch for more in days to come.

Dr. B

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