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Using the Z-bell Test to Remediate Spatial Deficiencies in Non-Image-Forming Retinal Processing

By Clark Elliott [1], Cynthia Putnam [1], Deborah Zelinsky [2], Daniel Spinner [1], Silpa Vipparti [1] and Abhinit Parelkar [1] [1] DePaul University, 1 DePaul Center, Chicago IL 60604, USA [2] Mind-Eye Institute, 1414 Techny Rd, Northbrook IL 60062, USA, © Clark Elliott, 2019, All rights reserved.

Abstract. Preliminary evidence from a larger study is presented demonstrating that non-image-forming retinal processing takes place even through closed eyelids. The Z-bell℠ test, which has been in clinical use for more than twenty years shows that these processing channels affect how we perceive context in the space around us when forming visual imagery. By using therapeutic eyeglasses and pitched bells, we can measure changes in a subject’s spatial processing, and remediate deficiencies among non-image-forming neural channels that operate in even the low-light conditions produced by closed eyelids. Using what we know of both the top-down feedback filtering of retinal input triggered purely by aural signals and also the characteristic difficulties that brain-injured patients have in organizing visual scenes (which the Z-bell℠ test links to difficulties with non-image-forming retinal processing), it is argued that the non-image-forming retinal channels demonstrated in this study may be critical in any human-centric model of computer vision. Spatial coding as a basis for human cognition is also briefly discussed.