Tactile maze solving in congenitally blind individuals
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Vision is undoubtedly important for navigation although not essential as blind individuals outperform their blindfolded seeing counterparts in a variety of navigational tasks. It is believed that the blind's superior performance is because of their efficient use of proprioceptive signals and environmental cues such as temperature and echolocation. We hypothesize that by limiting these cues, blind individuals will lose their advantage compared with controls in spatial navigation tasks. We therefore evaluated the performance of blind and sighted individuals in small-scale, tactile multiple T mazes. Our results show that blindfolded sighted controls outperformed blind participants in the route-learning tasks. This suggests that, contrary to indoor large-scale spaces, navigational skills inside small-scale spaces benefit from visual experience.
|Status||Udgivet - 27 okt. 2010|