Related to my Proprioception presentation - soon to be available at MovementLectures.com: Movement changes when visual field perception decreases.
Although there are very practical reasons to fear heights, babies don’t become afraid until about six weeks after they learn to crawl. To find out what causes this shift, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley put babies who couldn’t yet crawl into go-carts they could control with joysticks. After three weeks, the babies who drove showed anxiety after being confronted with a steep drop, while their non-driving peers remained fearless. This research suggests that moving around in space–by crawling, walking, or even go-carting–conditions our brains to take in more information from our peripheral visual field. This would also explain why you don’t feel fear when when viewing the earth from a small plane window, which limits your peripheral vision. Read more here: http://bit.ly/14klI68
Related to the above article, when I work with my patients that exhibit fear to step or jump off a stool (a test often used to identify if postoperative ACL patients are ready to start jogging), I limit their visual field by asking them to crop their hands together like as if holding a grape. By them looking through the relatively small opening between their hands (limiting their visual field) they often exhibit an improved and non-fearful stepping or jumping down movement pattern that I actually measure using slow video – time-to contact with the floor when they land and well as knee and ankle range of motion immediately normalize. Fascinating how the role of perception/attention can immediately change movement and performance.
TRY THIS with your patients/clients.Go-carting babies reveal origin of fear of heights - life - 17 July 2013 - New Scientist
Surprisingly, fear of heights is not innate but kicks in after we begin to crawl, when we notice stuff in our peripheral vision and use it to balance