The spatial representation of number, time, and serial order following sensory deprivation: A systematic review

Luca Rinaldi, Lotfi B Merabet, Tomaso Vecchi, Zaira Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The spatial representation of numerical and temporal information is thought to be rooted in our multisensory experiences. Accordingly, we may expect visual or auditory deprivation to affect the way we represent numerical magnitude and time spatially. Here, we systematically review recent findings on how blind and deaf individuals represent abstract concepts such as magnitude and time (e.g., past/future, serial order of events) in a spatial format. Interestingly, available evidence suggests that sensory deprivation does not prevent the spatial "re-mapping" of abstract information, but differences compared to normally sighted and hearing individuals may emerge depending on the specific dimension considered (i.e., numerical magnitude, time as past/future, serial order). Herein we discuss how the study of sensory deprived populations may shed light on the specific, and possibly distinct, mechanisms subserving the spatial representation of these concepts. Furthermore, we pinpoint unresolved issues that need to be addressed by future studies to grasp a full understanding of the spatial representation of abstract information associated with visual and auditory deprivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume90
Early online dateMay 7 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Fingerprint

Cite this