An Introduction to Cognitive Optometry: 2007
Dr. Brelvi, a SUNY: Optometry graduate and an 18-year veteran of Clinical Optometry, throws down the "gauntlet" to the next generation of Vision Therapy clinicians, not only in the US but also around the world. He challenges them to adopt a much-needed optometric model in the Cognitive Neurosciences, in order to effectively address the burgeoning fields of Autism, various Neurological Dysfunctions and Learning Disabilities. According to Dr. Brelvi, the frontiers of scientific discovery are defined as much by the tools available for clinical observation and monitoring as by conceptual innovation. Optometrists or Optometric physicians have historically studied the visual system in toto to understand the subtle nuances associated with a spectrum of learning disabilities. Dr. Brelvi feels that the time is now ripe for Optometry to broaden its scientific horizons and venture into the Cognitive realm of neurological dysfunctions. By introducing the new discipline of Cognitive Optometry, Dr. Brelvi envisions fellow clinicians to recognize the key role played by the visual system in the complex process of cognition, which gives rise to the gift of sentience in modern Homo sapiens. In his view, what marks Cognitive Optometry as an emerging discipline in the Neuro-Clinical Sciences is the study of anomalous mental activity as a visual information-processing problem. It rests on the premise that our perceptions, thoughts and social behavior depend on the ability of the visual system to evaluate and collate sensory information correctly. Perceptual representations taking place in various regions of the brain need to be "translated" into successful goal-oriented behavior in afflicted "patients" to help lead more productive and rewarding lifestyles.
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