“Certainly, you have two aspects of the visual process, as we discussed. The focal process wants to literally lock onto detail, and it says balance from the spatial process, which was developmentally the first process that was established in the hierarchy of our development. It’s this balance that constantly causes us not to jam down on just detail.
When that spatial process gets compromised from a concussion, whether it’s a trauma to the head, or whether it’s from a whiplash, what can occur is that it leaves the focal process without any type of balance, without any type of check and balance. So, the focal process knows no other way, other than to work harder, to try to achieve its goal. And when it works harder to try to achieve its goal, it literally becomes bound onto all aspects of detail, not just in your central site, but your whole world turns into detail. And if there’s movement of that detail, it becomes chaotic.
And that is what leads to many of the symptoms that people have when they go into a busy, crowded environment, such as they feel overwhelmed or overstimulated, and it also produces conditions of noise factors that they no longer can take what might be normal noise. Even the noise level seems to be increased.
It’s more than seeing. The spacial visual process is preconscious, not in the sense that you’re seeing now. So, as you look across the room and you see your visual field, you have to realize that that’s one visual process and what’s balancing out and causing you not to see the periphery as just a lot of detail is that the spatial process blends off this information, so that the focal process can concentrate through the fovea or macula area.
However, you can use the focal process in any portion of the field that you want. So, if I would hold my finger up like this and concentrate on my finger with my peripheral vision, that’s a focalization. We can do that, but it takes more energy to run focalization through the peripheral process.
So, it’ll diminish in its intensity as a detail on a few moments. It’s this balance that the spatial process always tries to maintain peripheral organization and provide the central focal process isolation for the point of fixation. And it’s the balance that enables release of the focalization to the next fixation point.”
William Padula, OD & Charlie Shearer, OD