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ERIC Number: EJ942363
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1471-3802
A Blind Person's Cognitive Mapping of New Spaces Using a Haptic Virtual Environment
Lahav, Orly; Mioduser, David
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v3 n3 p172-177 Nov 2003
Mental mapping of spaces is essential for the development of efficient orientation and mobility skills. Most of the information required for mental mapping is gathered through the visual channel. Blind people lack this crucial information, facing in consequence difficulties in mapping as well as navigating spaces. The work reported here is based on the assumption that the supply of appropriate spatial information through compensatory sensorial channels may contribute to blind people's spatial performance. The main goals of this study were: (a) the development of a haptic virtual environment enabling blind people to learn about real life spaces; (b) the study of blind people's cognitive mapping of these spaces; and (c) the study of the contribution of this mapping to blind people's spatial skills and performance in the real environment. The focus of this paper is on a case study of G, a 25-year-old late blind. The results were encouraging: G mastered the ability to navigate the virtual environment in a short time; after navigating, he generated a verbal description and a physical model of it which unveiled a fairly precise map of a space he did not know before; and finally G showed impressive navigating performance in the real space.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A