The Duke Sports Vision Center brings together specialists in ophthalmology, sports vision, and occupational and physical therapy, as well as experts in concussion rehabilitation and cognitive neuroscience. Together, the specialists are using new and existing therapies to optimize visual performance in people who perform visually demanding activities. At the same time, the doctors are studying these treatments to determine how well they actually work.
“We know people can follow these methods and get better at doing certain activities within a training device,” explained Diane Whitaker, OD, a vision rehabilitation expert at Duke who developed the program with Terry Kim, MD, a Duke corneal surgeon, and Greg Appelbaum, PhD, an expert in psychiatry and behavioral science. “What we really want to know is whether these new or improved skills makes them a better ball player. Anecdotally, people come back and report improvements in performance, but no one has done a well-designed study on the direct translation from device-based training to actual on-field or -court performance.”