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      Israeli iPhone App Trains the Brain -- and the Eyes

      A new Israeli iPhone app trains the brain to translate blurry images into clear ones, helping to improve middle age vision.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 11/2/2011, 12:52 PM


      A new Israeli app for the Apple iPhone trains the brain to translate blurry images into clear ones.

      The game-like application, to be launched next year, could help keep a person's vision sharp for years longer, beyond the age where glasses are usually needed, according to the researcher who developed it.

      “Glasses Off” has demonstrated success in clinical trials, was created to be used on the Apple iPhone by Professor Uri Polat at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

      Polat's team presented the technology behind the game at a recent meeting of the Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society in San Francisco.

      When people reach middle age, the lense in the eye becomes less supple and it becomes more difficult to focus on objects nearby, thus requiring the use of reading glasses.

      Polat's app, “Glasses Off,” trains the brain to translate the blurry images into clear ones by identifying  a blurry line – called a Gabor patch – when it appears in the center from among a group of many scattered around the screen.

      During clinical trials, users with an average age of 51 were able to read two lines lower on an eye test charge following 40 uses of the app, which is expected to launch on the iPhone next year.