The peripheral vision is the vision that you have on the sides of the center of the vision. It is a vision with less resolution than the central one, but it can be very helpful in brain training if used wisely. This article will show you how.
Why should I improve my peripheral vision?
By expanding your peripheral vision, you will be more aware of your surroundings. This means that you will be able to detect threads more easily. Also your night vision will improve. And on top of all that, the training helps fighting against the narrowing of the peripheral vision that ageing produces in us.
However, the most interesting point is that, by improving your peripheral vision, you will increase your reading speed. The visual span, is the space that you can perceive with your eyes. By improving your peripheral vision, your visual span will increase, and hence, the amount of words that you will be able to read per each fixation will also increase. The result is that your reading speed will increase.
You should increase your peripheral vision in both directions: vertical and lateral. This article describes how to train both of them.
For this exercises, you need to use the Speed Memory program for Windows computers. You can download it for free at the link above.
Once you have downloaded and installed the program, load one of the following configuration files:
You will see on your screen something like the following figure:
On the figure, you can observe 4 numbers in a cross shape. The different config files only increase the distance between the numbers.
If you press GO!, the numbers will be shown for 0.1 seconds. You should fix your eyes at the center of the imaginary cross, but try to capture the four numbers with the peripheral vision. You should not move your eyes while capturing the numbers. Just fix them at the center of the cross.
The program will ask you to write the numbers you saw. Write as many as you remember. If you can easily remember the four of them, then load the next configuration file with increased distance. If you reach the 3rd config file and still is easy for you, create your own config file, increasing the distances of the four numbers at your will.
You should reach a distance where it is difficult for you to capture the four numbers. This is the optimal distance of training. You should perform the workout only at that distance.
Depending on your requirements, perform the following workouts. Do it for 10 minutes every day.
- Start the Speed Memory program and load the config file that makes difficult for you to read the 4 numbers
- Execute the program and try to capture the numbers.
- Repeat the exercise for 10 minutes.
- If you feel like your span has increased, modify the config file to increase the distance.
For the brave, load instead this config file (config4.smns) and perform the workout using it 😉
Peripheral vision is very important for speed reading, but it is also important to train it to fight the effects of ageing. So do not forget to train it from time to time.