Robert Lichtman taught the Bates method in New York and ran effortlessvision.com. He wrote “Myopia as an Adaptation” and put it online as a PDF in 2010. Sadly, he passed away in 2015 from cancer. The rest of his site may be lost, but luckily a few of us saved this file, and before his passing he gave permission for me to repost it online.
The main reason I’m posting it is simple: I like it lots! I had read it years ago and emailed with him a little about the interesting topics he brought up. I re-read it again recently and liked it even more.
A few teasers:
Being able to distinguish points one arc degree apart is the definition of normal vision (Blake & Sekular, 2006), and this seems impossible to a myope accustomed to grabbing larger areas in a single fixation. At the same time, asking an emmetrope to expand the area of attention will produce myopia within seconds.
While this spreading out of attention happens in the visual cortex by ignoring higher frequency spatial fields (the reason why, connected to mental imagery, will be explained below), once again the extraocular muscles are needed to hold the eyes in place as the individual somewhat consciously suppresses saccadic motion in exchange for a bigger, albeit blurrier, image.
Either way, it seems the act of remembering having seen something requiring high-resolution spatial fields is enough to restimulate them, or more accurately, stop suppressing information from them. At the same time, it stands to reason that suppression of mental imagery would suppress, or dull, the high frequency spatial fields and thus blur vision.
Download the full article here:
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