Fifty-four elderly patients with cataracts were tested with a questionnaire and a series of visual-motor learning and performance tasks immediately before, 7 weeks after, and 16 weeks after cataract surgery. The goal was to learn whether postoperative performance and questionnaire responses could be predicted from the preoperative tasks. Twenty-two elderly people without diagnosed cataracts did the same tasks at comparable intervals to establish normal performance levels and reliabilities. The amount of activity before surgery (walking, shopping, gardening, sewing, etc.) and the ability to learn a new visual-motor coordination were positively correlated with successful recovery as assessed by several measures including spontaneously expressed satisfaction.