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Elizabeth Blackwell Institute funding awarded to research therapeutic tool for children with impaired eye movement control

5 December 2016

Professor Iain Gilchrist, Dr Cathy Williams and Dr Rosie Clark awarded funding to investigate the efficacy of their novel app “EyeTrain” designed as a therapeutic tool to improve oculomotor control in children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

Professor Iain Gilchrist, Dr Cathy Williams and Dr Rosie Clark have been awarded funding from the EBI to develop and conduct research using their app “EyeTrain”. They designed and built the app with developer Kieren Pitts and artist Alex Lucas as a novel therapy to improve oculomotor control in children who have problems with their vision. Often children who have additional developmental or learning needs also have impaired control of their eye movements. This can impact on almost every aspect of life including learning to read, crossing a road and interacting with friends. This next stage of the project will involve research with children who have Special Educational Needs to see if 6 weeks of training using the app on an ipad improves oculomotor control. Objective eye movement recordings will be made before and after the period of training using the app. If the results from this trial supports the efficacy of this app as a therapeutic tool, they aim to conduct a randomised controlled trial before releasing it as an evidence-based treatment. Currently there are no validated evidence-based treatments for children with impaired oculomotor control, so this is an exciting development that could potentially improve their quality of life.


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