Visual experience facilitates allocentric spatial representation


Pasqualotto, A., Spiller, M. J., Jansari, A. S. and Proulx, M. J., 2013. Visual experience facilitates allocentric spatial representation. Behavioural Brain Research, 236, pp. 175-179.

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    Representing the position of the objects independently from our own position is a fundamental cognitive ability. Here we investigated whether this ability depends on visual experience. Congenitally blind, late blind and blindfolded sighted participants haptically learnt a room-sized regularly shaped array of objects, and their spatial memory was tested to determine which spatial reference frame was used. Crucially, the use of an object-based reference frame requires representing the regular structure of the array. We found that blindfolded sighted and late blind participants, that is those with visual experience, showed a preferential use of the object-based or 'allocentric' reference frame. On the contrary, congenitally blind participants preferred a self-based, or egocentric, reference frame. This suggests that, due to its developmental effect on the multisensory brain areas involved in spatial cognition, visual experience is necessary to develop a preference for an object-based, allocentric reference frame.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsPasqualotto, A., Spiller, M. J., Jansari, A. S. and Proulx, M. J.
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    DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Psychology
    Publisher Statement2012_Pasqualotto_etal_Visual_experience.pdf: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Behavioural Brain Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Behavioural Brain Research, vol 236, 2013, DOI 10.1016/j.bbr.2012.08.042
    ID Code31571


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