Simulating visual field loss using eye tracking

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has title::Simulating visual field loss using eye tracking
status: ongoing
Master: project within::Cognitive Science
Student name: student name::Bas
Dates
Start start date:=15 Feb 2016
End end date:=15 Jul 2016
Supervision
Supervisor: Michel Klein
Second supervisor: Jan Koopman
Company: has company::Koninklijke Visio
Thesis: has thesis::Media:Thesis.pdf
Poster: has poster::Media:Posternaam.pdf

Signature supervisor



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Abstract

Those suffering from visual field loss often find it difficult to imagine and explain the extent of their visual problems, partially because the lost areas differ from person to person. Due to this inability to explain the condition experienced, their surroundings (such as family members, employers or caretakers) have issues understanding constraints imposed by these visual deficiencies on daily life. A realistic simulation method for these issues would increase understanding of surroundings and those suffering from visual field loss alike, thereby increasing quality of life for the visually handicapped. The aim of this project is therefore to create a realistic simulation method of visual field loss, with the main research question being:

Is it possible to realistically simulate visual field loss using eye tracking?

Various methods for simulating visual field loss for those without visual deficiencies already exist. One such method is tracking a person’s gaze direction on a computer monitor and obscuring parts of the screen where visual field loss is experienced. This allows the subject of the simulation to see the screen as if they were suffering from visual field loss.

The human visual field however is much larger than a computer monitor. Since eye tracking devices and software are solely available for single screens of a relatively small size, a method of tracking gaze direction for larger displays (yielding a larger field of view) is required. This can be done by using a novel approach: linking several eye tracking devices together to create a unified gaze direction.

A second limitation of the aforementioned simulation method lies in the obscurement of the sections of the visual field where vision loss is experienced. Much like a person with perfect vision ‘fills in’ the eye’s blind spot, those suffering from visual field loss do not experience an obscurement but rather a ‘filled in’ notion of the area. Obscuring lost areas by showing black or white sections is therefore too simple. More realistic methods of obscurement will be investigated.

The fact that visual field loss does not occur in a standardized way poses a challenge. One of the aims of this project is therefore to create a methodical way of translating a visual field map created with perimetry into a representation ready for a large display.