Do You See What I See?

Do You See What I See? post page

By Stephanie LandmannApril 14th, 2021

Do You See What I See?

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by Stephanie “Teffie” Landmann, COTA/L,

PAC Support Mentor, Coach, and Trainer


Take a look at the picture below. What do you see? What if I asked you to brush your teeth can you find the toothbrush?

How about this picture. What’s different from the first picture? Can you find the toothbrush? A little bit easier than the first picture?

Finally, how about this picture? Any problem finding the toothbrush?

How long did it take for you to find the toothbrush in each picture? Why did it take longer in the first picture? Why was the last picture easier?

When asked to find the toothbrush one has to put together multiple functions from multiple areas of the brain. One of those functions is visual scanning. This function makes it possible for you to find an item in your environment using only vision.

For someone living with brain change, the process of visual scanning can slow down and be really difficult. Not only is the toothbrush hard to find, but all the extra visual data to process can lead someone to pick up the hairbrush. If I was living with brain change, I might pick up the washcloth. The turquoise is bright and draws my eye.

Given the changes in visual scanning in the brain for someone living with dementia, which picture is going to be easier for someone to brush their teeth? What changes in your environment do you think you might want to try? What changes have you made that worked? What changes have you tried that didn’t go so well, and then tried again? Let us know in the comments.


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