Effects of late visual impairment on mental representations activated by visual and tactile stimuli

Zaira Cattaneo, Tomaso Vecchi, Maura Monegato, Alfredo Pece, Cesare Cornoldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Similarly to sighted people, individuals congenitally affected by a severe visual impairment can maintain and mentally manipulate spatial information about tactile stimuli [Vecchi, T., Cattaneo, Z., Monegato, M., Pece, A., Cornoldi, C., Pietrini, P., 2006. Why Cyclops could not compete with Ulysses: monocular vision and mental images. NeuroReport 17, 723-726]. The aim of the present study was to assess whether the onset timing of a severe (but not total) sight loss may influence spatial imagery abilities based on haptic input. To this purpose, a group of late severe visually impaired people and a matched group of normally sighted participants (all blindfolded) were presented with an imagery task requiring to memorize and retrieve a number of locations presented on tactile matrices. Results indicate that a severe visual deficit occurring later in life significantly impairs spatial imagery abilities to a greater extent than in the case of congenital blindness, probably as a consequence of a modest development of specific compensatory mechanisms associated with congenital deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Volume1148
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 7 2007

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Imagery (Psychotherapy)
Vision Disorders
Touch
Monocular Vision
Minocycline
Blindness
Research Design
Spatial Navigation

Keywords

  • Spatial memory
  • Tactile
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Effects of late visual impairment on mental representations activated by visual and tactile stimuli. / Cattaneo, Zaira; Vecchi, Tomaso; Monegato, Maura; Pece, Alfredo; Cornoldi, Cesare.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 1148, No. 1, 07.05.2007, p. 170-176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cattaneo, Zaira ; Vecchi, Tomaso ; Monegato, Maura ; Pece, Alfredo ; Cornoldi, Cesare. / Effects of late visual impairment on mental representations activated by visual and tactile stimuli. In: Brain Research. 2007 ; Vol. 1148, No. 1. pp. 170-176.
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