Visual Perception Theory
The dynamic system theory model of visual perception aims to facilitate practitioners in understanding the development of visual perception from a dynamic systems theory perspective. This model views vision and ocular motor abilities as a part (instead of the foundation) of the complex interaction of components of the experience of vision. Intelligent perceptual activity has other components including goal (intentional visual activity), attention and knowledge, retinal image, early visual processes, tactile and proprioception, postural and movement, language and culture, and motivation and emotions. Each component affects and is affected by other components. The model aims to illustrate the complex, dynamic and multisensory nature of the visual activity. All components are interconnected, and each contributes to the goal through the dynamic process of the experience. Assessment and interventions using this model consider each child as unique, both genetic and experiential. This model adapts an ecological approach and fits with the occupational-based model, as it centers on the goal or task and the child in his/her environment. It suggests that therapeutic activities should incorporate as many components of the visual experience as possible, e.g., language, movement, and touch. Motivation for change and a sense of self-efficacy associated with the patterns are essential to building on new successful patterns. Typical visual perception assessments can be used to assess performance, and occupational therapy assessments can be used to assess relevant factors that impact performance. The assessment goal is to determine how children are directing attention and employing their cognitive resources. Treatment can be then designed to include other modalities (verbal, pointing) to help children self-direct attention to relevant features that has been previously omitted.