Vision and Neuroplasticity

Published on
May 13, 2022

Neuroplasticity is essentially the brain's ability to develop and to adapt to learn new things. While we know the brain is capable of doing these things, we don't necessarily think of vision as something that develops. Although we think of vision as just another sense like hearing or smelling, vision, in fact, is an extremely complex process that goes through an extensive development process. It used to be believed that neuroplasticity ends at eight years old, which would mean that the brain is able to develop properly only up until that point and afterward the visual system is too late to develop. It has been proven incorrect because we know that the brain is capable of learning new skills and adapting to new challenges beyond eight years of age, and that also applies to visual pathways. Vision therapy is a process of learning that takes advantage of the neuroplasticity of the brain to improve learned functions that impact our vision. It enhances the various skills associated with vision, which means strengthening the entire spectrum of aspects related to visual demands we must meet in our everyday lives.

The breakdown of the visual system

Dr. McBryar often breaks down the visual system into the hardware of the visual system and the software of the visual system. The hardware is more like the eye itself. The longer your eyeball grows, the more likely you are to have to wear glasses for nearsightedness in order to see clearly. Another example is ocular disease, if someone has a disease such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, the hardware of our vision is broken. The software of the visual system is more of the neurological pathways that connect the eyes to the brain, directing the eyes and processing the visual information. Even if you are able to see clearly through your glasses, if your eyes and brain don't work well together, you can have significant difficulties in both an academic and a workplace setting. 

Vision therapy and neuroplasticity

The reason why vision therapy works is that we are able to reprogram the neurological software in order to either help the visual system develop properly in the first place, or get it back to functioning at its highest level. Much like bicycle riding, once the visual-cognitive process is learnt, the neurological pathways will work more efficiently without having to think about how the eyes and brain work together to perform tasks.

Call our Chattanooga functional optometry office today at (423) 710 3965 to schedule an appointment. 


  • Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

    Amanda T.

  • Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

    Alexa H.

  • Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

    He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

    It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

    Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

    Charlotte M.

  • Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

    Thank you!

    Olivia C.

  • Seems much less frustrated with life

    Reads non-stop and fast

    Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

    Seems much more confident

    Thank You!!!

    Kelly O.



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