Blind vision : the neuroscience of visual impairment by Zaira Cattaneo

By Zaira Cattaneo

Can a blind individual see? The very proposal turns out paradoxical. right here the authors learn the consequences of blindness and different different types of visible deficit at the improvement and functioning of the human cognitive system.

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Extra resources for Blind vision : the neuroscience of visual impairment

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Sterr, Green, and Elbert 2003) discussed above (requiring to identify the finger on which a light tactile stimulus was administered), mislocation errors were greater in Braille blind readers than in sighted controls for the 42 Chapter 2 Braille-reading hand; in particular, stimuli tended to be mislocated toward the reading fingers. As suggested by Sterr et al. (Sterr, Green, and Elbert 2003), this “stimuli attraction” by the reading fingers might reflect attentional mechanisms; in other words, the reading finger of the blind Braille readers is likely to “automatically” attract attention when stimuli are presented to the hand, since those fingers are the ones usually “relevant” when stimulation occurs.

4). In fact, the “average” blind subject showed a tactile acuity that was comparable to that of the average sighted subject 23 years younger. These findings suggest that blind individuals may have a superior capacity for decoding the spatial structure of the activated SA-I afferent array through central processing mechanisms (Goldreich and Kanics 2003). In a following study, Goldreich and Kanics (2006) found that (early and late) blind outperformed sighted subjects in a grating-detection task requiring that they distinguish a thinly grooved surface from a smooth one.

Ruffini afferents are critical in providing the brain with motion signals from the whole hand: in fact, they signal skin-stretch accurately, and are thus important (together with proprioception receptors) in the perception of hand shape and finger position, both of which are critical for grip control. The accuracy at which a tactile stimulus is detected depends on both the density of receptors and the size of their receptive fields. In fact, the greater the density and the smaller the receptive field, the higher the tactile acuity.

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