Congenital blindness leads to enhanced vibrotactile perception

Wan, Catherine Y., Wood, Amanda G., Reutens, David and Wilson, Sarah J. (2010) Congenital blindness leads to enhanced vibrotactile perception. Neuropsychologia, 48 2: 631-635-635. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.10.001

Author Wan, Catherine Y.
Wood, Amanda G.
Reutens, David
Wilson, Sarah J.
Title Congenital blindness leads to enhanced vibrotactile perception
Journal name Neuropsychologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-3932
Publication date 2010-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.10.001
Volume 48
Issue 2
Start page 631-635
End page 635
Total pages 5
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract Previous studies have shown that in comparison with the sighted, blind individuals display superior non-visual perceptual abilities and differ in brain organisation. In this study, we investigated the performance of blind and sighted participants on a vibrotactile discrimination task. Thirty-three blind participants were classified into one of three groups (congenital, early, late), depending on the age at which they became blind. Consistent with previous neuroimaging data, individuals blinded after late childhood (14 years) showed no advantage over sighted participants. Both the congenitally- and early-blind participants were better than the sighted. The congenitally blind participants were even more accurate than the early-blind participants; a distinction that has not been drawn previously. Duration of blindness did not predict task performance and the effect of onset age persisted after duration of daily Braille reading was accounted for. We conclude that complete visual deprivation early in life leads to heightened tactile acuity. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Blind
Tactile perception
Onset age
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 9 October 2009. Published under Notes.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
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Created: Wed, 13 Jan 2010, 15:40:29 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Centre for Advanced Imaging