Roshni Sengupta, M.Optom

Assistant Professor, Sushant University, India


Visual-Cognitive Functions and Learning Disability:

The ability of the brain to absorb, analyse, and respond on visual inputs is referred to as visual perception. In any condition, the brain may fail to detect visual information. Perception is dependent on seven factors:

  1. Visual discrimination – the skill to discern one shape from another
  2. Visual memory – the ability to recall a certain form when it is removed from the visual field
  3. Visual-spatial relationships – the ability to discriminate between forms that are similar but differ in orientation
  4. Visual form constancy – the ability to discern between comparable shapes that varies in size, colour, or orientation
  5. Visual sequential memory – the ability to recall two or seven times in a row while vision is blocked
  6. Visual figure/ground discrimination – the ability to distinguish discrete shapes when disguised
  7. Visual closure – refers to the capacity to acknowledge familiar forms that are only half formed

Visual processing impairments have a significant influence on children’s and young adults’ learning ability. Specific Learning Disability (SLD) is a form of neuro-developmental disorder that impairs the ability to learn or apply certain academic abilities (e.g., reading, writing, or arithmetic), which are the foundation for all other academic learning (Mogasle et al., 2011). SLD is believed to affect between 5% and 15% of the population. The federal definition issued in 1968 covers seven domains: (1) hearing, (2) speaking, (3) basic reading (decoding and word recognition), (4) reading comprehension, (5) arithmetic calculation, (6) mathematical thinking, and (7) written expression (Boat et al., 2022). There are seven disorders that fall under the umbrella of learning impairments and cover a wide variety of learning issues: Dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, auditory processing disorder, language processing disorder, nonverbal learning impairments, and visual perceptual/visual motor deficiency are all examples of learning disabilities.

Effect of Visual-perceptual Problem in Reading Performance:

Individually administered standardised achievement tests and a full clinical examination should be used to confirm an LD diagnosis. According to Al-Mahrezi et al., (2016), the first level is the behavioural level, where the key participants are an afflicted child’s parents and school instructors; this is the most crucial phase including an effective intervention and followed-up. The second level is the neuro-behavioural level, in which learning issues are examined using suitable neurocognitive tests and an attempt at diagnosis is made. The third level is concerned with the neurological foundation of LDs; precise concerns concerning the actual aetiology of the LD can be answered.

Reading problems induced by dyslexia (as described by the Dyslexia Determination Test) vary from those caused by visual perceptual impairments (as defined by the Test for Visual Perceptual Skills). Although dyslexia causes unique reading issues due to distinctive coding sequences, it is likely that visual perceptual impairments lead to learning problems that include general reading problems. Vision issues can impede learning; however, vision issues are not the source of main dyslexia or learning impairments (Griffin et al., 1993). A mild developmental delay in visual perception, visual-motor integration, and (fine) motor coordination and a severe delay in motor skills were found in children with MLD (Pieters et al., 2012).


There is a need for a greater understanding of perceptual talents and their importance in the learning process and academic performance. Early vision treatment can help afflicted youngsters in the long run.



  1. Al-Mahrezi, A., Al-Futaisi, A., & Al-Mamari, W. (2016). Learning Disabilities: Opportunities and challenges in Oman. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 16(2), e129-131.
  2. Boat, T., Wu, J., Disorders, C., Populations, B., Board on Children, a., & Medicine, I. et al. (2022). Clinical Characteristics of Learning Disabilities. Retrieved 11 January 2022,
  3. Griffin, J., Birch, T., Bateman, G., & De Land, P. (1993). Dyslexia and Visual Perception. Optometry And Vision Science, 70(5), 374-379.
  4. Mogasale, V., Patil, V., Patil, N., & Mogasale, V. (2011). Prevalence of Specific Learning Disabilities Among Primary School Children in a South Indian City. The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 79(3), 342-347.
  5. Pieters, S., Desoete, A., Roeyers, H., Vanderswalmen, R., & Van Waelvelde, H. (2012). Behind mathematical learning disabilities: What about visual perception and motor skills?. Learning And Individual Differences, 22(4), 498-504.