Today is Go to an Art Museum Day! When you visit an art museum, you use your vision to view the beautiful art on display. Vision and art are both more than what meets the eye. Vision is not just having a visual acuity of 20/20. Visual perception (vision) is a cognitive process that refers to the brain’s ability to interpret and use visual information. When you look at a piece of art, your brain actively tries to make sense of what it is seeing. Here are some of the visual perceptual skills you can actively work on if you visit the right here in Washington, DC.

· Visual discrimination: The ability to discern differences in and classify visual images. Can you notice the difference between a Monet and a Van Gogh? Is the Houses of Parliament a Van Gogh?

· Visual memory: The ability to recall images you have seen in the past and to create mental images. What does Tom’s by Alexander Calder remind you of?

· Visual spatial relationships: The ability to understand the spatial relationships between objects. Can you distinguish whether the ballet dancer with the pink shawl in Edgar Degas’s The Dance Lesson is closer to the ballet dancer with the green bow or the ballet dancer with the orange shawl?

· Visual closure: The ability to identify an object even if it is partially hidden. In The Boating Party by Mary Cassatt, the man is holding onto something in his left hand but only part of it is seen. Can you determine what it is?

· Visual figure-ground: The ability to attend to an object while ignoring background information. Can you find the eyes and hands in Pablo Picasso’s Harlequin Musician?

A question to ask yourself after visiting the museum: do you struggle with these skills? It may be what’s impeding your ability to appreciate art and may reveal the presence of a visual problem. Our comprehensive Visuo-Cognitive Therapy program helps develop and enhance these visual perceptual skills, in addition to others not mentioned. These skills aren’t just helpful to appreciating art—they are vital skills that are applicable to all aspects of life. Contact us to learn more about our Visuo-Cognitive Therapy program.

Try to celebrate art by visiting a museum near you!!

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