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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Navigation with a sensory substitution device in congenitally blind individuals

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  4. Thalamocortical Connectivity and Microstructural Changes in Congenital and Late Blindness

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  5. Enhanced heat discrimination in congenital blindness

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  • Daniel-Robert Chebat
  • Fabien C Schneider
  • Ron Kupers
  • Maurice Ptito
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Vision allows for obstacle detection and avoidance. The compensatory mechanisms involved in maintaining these functions in blind people using their remaining intact senses are poorly understood. We investigated the ability of congenitally blind participants to detect and avoid obstacles using the tongue display unit, a sensory substitution device that uses the tongue as a portal to the brain. We found that congenitally blind were better than sighted control participants in detecting and avoiding obstacles using the tongue display unit. Obstacles size and avoidance strategy had a significant effect on performance: large obstacles were better detected than small ones and step-around obstacles were better avoided than step-over ones. These data extend our earlier findings that when using a sensory substitution device, blind participants outperform sighted controls not only in a virtual navigation task but also during effective navigation within a human-sized obstacle course.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroReport
Volume22
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)342-7
Number of pages6
ISSN0959-4965
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

    Research areas

  • Adult, Blindness, Electric Stimulation, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Orientation, Psychomotor Performance, Space Perception, Touch Perception

ID: 34803262