By Zaira Cattaneo
Can a blind individual see? The very notion turns out paradoxical. the following the authors study the consequences of blindness and different kinds of visible deficit at the improvement and functioning of the human cognitive system.
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Extra info for Blind vision : the neuroscience of visual impairment
In this second task, both late and early blind showed a greater localization bias in the direction of the closer wall, indicated enhanced sensitivity to reﬂected sounds. These results suggest that blind subjects have a lower echo threshold and fuse direct and reﬂected sounds with shorter delays, when compared to normally sighted individuals. Therefore, echo-cues processing is likely to be really enhanced in case of blindness and does not depend on a higher level of familiarity or on more attentional resources.
Interestingly, Lewald (2002a) reported opposite systematic errors in blind and sighted individuals when localizing or lateralizing sounds with eccentric head position, although the overall accuracy was almost identical (the opposite systematic error showed by the blind may depend on a residual misadaptation of the transformation of the originally head-centered auditory information into a body-centered frame of reference). Overall, these ﬁndings suggest that the blind differ from the sighted in the perceptual mechanisms that relate the coordinates of auditory space to those of the head and the body.
Previous experimental evidence with sighted individuals has demonstrated that active touch may be advantageous compared to passive touch in tactile recognition (cf. Loomis 1985; Heller 1986). , Stevens, Foulke, and Patterson 1996; Goldreich and Kanics 2003, 2006; Legge, Madison et al. 2008) points to the importance that the “active” component of haptic experience may have in determining superior tactile abilities in blind individuals. In fact, as noticed by Legge and colleagues (Legge, Madison et al.