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January 2022

Blind and sighted children's spatial knowledge of their home environments

Journal/Book: Int J Behav Dev. 1996; 19: 27 Church Rd, Hove, East Sussex, England BN3 2FA. Psychology Press. 797-816.

Abstract: The development of spatial knowledge of the home environment was longitudinally studied in three groups of school-age children who varied in their visual ability: totally blind, visually impaired, and normally sighted. The children were asked to judge which of three locations in their homes was the closest to a designated position: (1) judging by the routes necessary to get to the locations; and (2) judging by straight-line distances to the locations. Locations were either on the same floor as the designed position, on a different floor, or in the yard. Totally blind children were delayed in mastery of the tasks compared to the other children, particularly in judging straight-line distances between familiar locations. Their mistakes suggest that their spatial understanding of their home environments is based on their knowledge of routes between places rather than on their knowledge of the overall layout of the familiar space.

Note: Article Bigelow AE, St Francis Xavier Univ, Dept Psychol, POB 5000, Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5, CANADA

Keyword(s): VISUAL EXPERIENCE; REPRESENTATION; WALKING; SENSITIVITY; BEHAVIOR; VISION; MAPS


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