The benefit of “Non-Habitual” eye movement patterns

The practice of Non-Habitual movements has a history in the unique movement practices of leading pioneers such as Moshe Feldenkrais, Eleanor Criswell Hanna and the Novado Institute, Thomas Hanna, and many others.

To learn more, I have been using the non-habitual approach to writing by using Artificial Intelligence! It started out as a way to quickly gather a large number of facts around concepts I practice and teach in yoga class and in yoga therapy sessions. You may be wondering what movement and AI have to do with being in a yoga post like this one! Well, like many people writing with AI, I thought it might be good to get out of the habit of writing in the old style (with my own personal intelligence).

Learning about Yoga through non-habitual writing

Similar to non-habitual physical movements that I teach and practice with Somatics and Yoga, I have now been “taught” many things by using AI as a writing approach to topics on Yoga. Some of what I have learned about writing are far from new: check your sources, double-check your facts, don’t believe everything you read, don’t believe everything you find on the internet (AI included), etc. Most of what I have learned from yoga aren’t new either: there is real intelligence in the body.

At the end of this post I will describe some of the things I discovered in the process of writing with AI on the topic of non-habitual movement. I did learn a few things, but also spent a lot of time trying to verify or expand on other things that ChatGPT produced.

I particularly appreciated the statement at the end to “consult with a qualified eye care professional or vision therapist.” Thanks to AI for understanding what it means to stay within scope of practice, and to not provide treatment or medical advice. The article was also liberally sprinkled with “can” statements such as, can enhance, can improve, can contribute, and may help. There is nothing artificial in that intelligence!

The following is an unedited ChatGPT3.5 response to my prompt: “Describe the potential benefits of eye movement exercises such as saccadic eye movements or other non-habitual head and eye movements, and provide a list of resources for this summary.”

ChatGPT on the benefits of eye movement exercises

Eye movement exercises, including saccadic eye movements and non-habitual head and eye movements, can offer a range of potential benefits for various aspects of visual and cognitive functioning. These exercises are often used in vision therapy and rehabilitation programs to improve eye coordination, focus, and overall visual processing skills. Here are some potential benefits:

Enhanced Eye Coordination: Saccadic eye movements, which involve rapid and precise shifts of gaze from one point to another, can improve the coordination between the eyes and strengthen the eye muscles.

Improved Reading Skills: Eye movement exercises can enhance the ability to follow lines of text smoothly and accurately while reading, reducing issues like skipping lines or losing one’s place.

Better Visual Attention: Practicing non-habitual head and eye movements can help train the brain to pay attention to specific visual stimuli more effectively, leading to improved focus and concentration.

Reduced Eye Strain: Regular eye movement exercises may help alleviate eye strain caused by prolonged computer use or other visually demanding tasks.

AI image created with Midjourney software to illustrate eye movement.
The AI software Midjourney created this illustration from my description of saccadic eye movements

Enhanced Peripheral Vision: Some exercises involve tracking objects in the periphery, which can improve peripheral vision and overall awareness of the visual environment.

Improved Visual Memory: Certain eye movement exercises challenge visual memory and can enhance the ability to recall visual information accurately.

Increased Visual Processing Speed: Quick and accurate eye movements can contribute to faster visual processing, which can be beneficial in various daily activities.

Support for Visual Rehabilitation: Eye movement exercises are often used in vision therapy to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of individuals with certain vision problems or eye-related conditions.

Enhanced Hand-Eye Coordination: Some exercises involve coordinating eye movements with hand movements, which can improve hand-eye coordination.

Support for Neurological Conditions: Eye movement exercises have been explored as a supplementary treatment for neurological conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries and certain types of dyslexia.

Resources for Eye Movement Exercises:

College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD): COVD provides information on vision therapy and developmental optometry, which includes various eye movement exercises. Website:

The American Optometric Association (AOA): AOA offers resources on vision therapy and its benefits, including eye movement exercises. Website:

Vision Therapy Canada: This website provides information on vision therapy and eye exercises, including saccades and other eye movement exercises. Website:

Optometrists Network: This website offers a section on vision therapy exercises, including eye movement activities. Website:

Vision Therapy Center: The Vision Therapy Center provides information on vision therapy and eye exercises for various vision-related conditions. Website:

It’s essential to consult with a qualified eye care professional or vision therapist before starting any eye movement exercises, especially if you have any underlying vision issues or medical conditions. They can provide personalized recommendations and guidance based on your specific needs and goals.

My summary

In general the information generated by ChatGPT was helpful and informative. The way that ChatGPT handled its sources was not specific as is common in siting references. For example, the links did not go right to the specific eye movement exercises it outlined. A reader following those links would need to know and enter key words into the search tool on each of the websites to find information on saccadic eye movement or other eye movement exercises.

My main criticism of this ChatGPT article was that its referenced web sources that mainly addressed vision problems and abnormalities. It seems to have gotten “stuck” on the term saccadic and did not address the rest of the prompt related to non-habitual head and eye movement. I’ll admit, I too got stuck scanning for the term saccadic. And then, once I saw the phrase “smooth pursuit,” I was off and down into a new rabbit hole of learning!