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ERIC Number: EJ860420
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
Tactile Acuity in the Blind: A Closer Look Reveals Superiority over the Sighted in Some but Not All Cutaneous Tasks
Alary, Flamine; Duquette, Marco; Goldstein, Rachel; Chapman, C. Elaine; Voss, Patrice; La Buissonniere-Ariza, Valerie; Lepore, Franco
Neuropsychologia, v47 n10 p2037-2043 Aug 2009
Previous studies have shown that blind subjects may outperform the sighted on certain tactile discrimination tasks. We recently showed that blind subjects outperformed the sighted in a haptic 2D-angle discrimination task. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of the same blind (n = 16) and sighted (n = 17, G1) subjects in three tactile discrimination tasks dependent solely on cutaneous inputs from the fingertip of the index finger, D2. A second group of sighted subjects (n = 30, G2) were also tested. Texture discrimination thresholds were 0.62 (G1)-0.80 mm (G2) for the sighted subjects, and 0.64 mm for the blind (standard, 2 mm spatial period). Grating orientation thresholds were 0.99 (G1)-1.12 mm (G2) for the sighted subjects, and 0.96 mm for the blind. Finally, vibrotactile frequency discrimination thresholds (100 Hz standard) were 19.5 (G2) and 20.0 Hz (G1) for the sighted, and 16.5 Hz for the blind subjects. There were no significant differences in performance between the blind and the sighted subjects for the grating orientation or vibrotactile frequency discrimination tasks. In contrast, blind subjects outperformed the sighted for the texture discrimination task (G2 only), possibly reflecting the fact that the raised dot surfaces were similar to the dots forming Braille characters (all were fluent Braille readers). (Contains 3 figures.)
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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