In this research we compare blind and normally sighted people in mental scanning of spatial maps using locomotor or visual/locomotor exploration of a real 3-D environment. Different types of visual experience were tested: early (congenital) and late (adventitious) onset of blindness, short-term deprivation (blindfolded-sighted), and full vision (sighted). Participants were asked to learn six positions in a large parking area with movement alone (congenital, adventitious, blindfolded-sighted) or with vision plus movement (sighted), and then to mentally scan between positions in the path. Finally, they had to describe how they imagined scanning the learned pathway. We found a significant linear relation between space and time, ie the classic mental scanning effect, in all tested groups. However, the linear component was lower in blind participants, especially congenital. Instead, short-term visual deprivation had minimal impact on mental scanning. Overall, blind participants had shorter scanning times than both sighted groups, and the effect was particularly evident with farther distances. These results suggest that there is a quantitative rather than a qualitative difference between the blind and the sighted. In addition, the mental scanning strategies reported by participants also affected mental scanning times. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
|Titolo:||The role of visual experience in mental scanning of actual pathways: evidence from blind and sighted people|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|