What is Visual Perception?

Visual perception is the process in which our brains take in and interpret visual information from the environment. Visual perception consists of seven components:

  • Visual Discrimination is the ability to look at objects and pictures and know if they are alike and different. This skill is important when matching, categorizing and reading.
  • Visual Memory is the ability to remember something that has been seen. This skill is important in comprehension.
  • Visual Spatial Relations refers to the ability to be able to understand one’s position to other people and objects within the environment while orienting to one’s own body in space.
  • Form Constancy is the ability to recognize objects regardless of their size, color or orientation. For example, a child able to recognize the correct puzzle piece even if it is upside down and backwards.
  • Visual Sequential Memory is the ability to remember objects or forms in the correct order, such as when spelling and remembering patterns.
  • Visual Figure-Ground is the ability to locate objects or figures without getting distracted by a busy background. This is important when looking for a pencil in a full backpack or finding your spot on the blackboard or page in a book.
  • Visual Closure refers to the ability to visualize a whole object when presented with incomplete information or part of a picture. For example, perceiving a picture of a dog, when it’s partially covered by a tree.

Activities requiring visual perceptual skills include:

  • Sorting games
  • Memory games
  • Puzzles
  • Building with blocks from a model or a picture
  • Finding objects in a busy background; eg: Where’s Waldo books
  • Bingo
  • Picture sequencing
  • What’s missing exercise worksheets
  • Matching games such as dominoes
  • Tic tac toe