1st August 2018
Blind people depend on timing cues for some spatial awareness
Researchers in Italy found blind people needed additional timing cues to accurately judge the relative location of sounds played from a line of speakers. However, people who aren’t visually impaired (but were blindfolded for the study) could judge the relative location of sounds independently from timing cues.
“This work teaches us that our audio-space representation is mediated by our visual experience,” says first author Monica Gori of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. “In absence of vision, auditory spatial skills are not always enhanced — and in some cases, such as in the space bisection task studied here, these can be impaired.”