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Low vision refers to deficits in visual function caused by eye disorders. Why should an encyclopedia of perception contain an entry on low vision? Ophthalmologists and optometrists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, and on vision care. But vision scientists have recently begun to ask how different types of eye disorders affect visual perception. Because low vision can have a major impact on important daily activities such as reading and driving, interest in low vision has helped propel research on the role of normal vision in these important activities. Low vision also provides informative natural experiments on the effects of visual deprivation. For example, studies using brain-imaging methods have demonstrated that the brain's occipital cortex, normally devoted to visual processing, can participate ...

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