Researchers from the Envision Research Institute had their works highlighted at the 2021 meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). ARVO is the largest and most respected eye and vision research organization, with a mission to advance research in understanding the visual system and caring for its disorders. The 2021 meeting was held virtually on May 1st-7th and showcased work from Drs. Yingzi Xiong and Jing Xu—Research Fellows at the ERI.
Dr. Xu had three research presentations. First is a survey study entitled, “Perceived needs and preferences for use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) by drivers with and without age-related macular degeneration.” This study highlighted the differences in technology needs and preferences between drivers with and without age-related macular degeneration. Results from this study will be used to inform future ADAS development for drivers with macular-degeneration. Dr. Xu’s second study was titled, “Perceptions of advanced driver assistance systems by people with and without age-related macular degeneration.” Results from this study found that while many drivers with macular degeneration use common ADAS, some less common ADAS is perceived as providing additional safety. These include forward collision warning and blind spot warnings. The final study that Dr. Xu worked on was a pilot study entitled, “Pilot study of a tactile hazard warning device for drivers with central vision loss.” For this study, Dr. Xu and her colleagues developed a prototype hazard warning device that employs tactile directional warnings of potential hazards. Preliminary evidence from this study suggests that tactile directional warnings may reduce collision risk of drivers with central vision loss.
Dr. Xiong had two presentations. The first titled, “Estimates of direction and distance by people with vision and hearing impairment,” looked at how people with various combinations of vision and hearing impairments integrate their residual vision and hearing in judging the distance and direction of objects. Results showed that visual localization remains intact even with visual impairment, but sound localization is susceptible to hearing impairment. Regardless of vision or hearing impairment, vision was the primary method for localizing targets. The second study, “Impacts of vision and hearing impairment on egocentric straight-ahead,” addressed how various combinations of vision and hearing impairments affect veering when attempting to walk in a straight line. Results showed that hearing or vision impairments did not affect an individual’s perception of visual straight-ahead, but both vision and hearing impairments affected the perception of auditory straight-ahead. The findings from these studies underlines the importance of considering how sensory impairments interact with each other to affect function, rather than considering each impairment in isolation.