What is the link between language and spatial images? Behavioral and neural findings in blind and sighted individuals


Struiksma, Marijn E. and Noordzij, Matthijs L. and Postma, Albert (2009) What is the link between language and spatial images? Behavioral and neural findings in blind and sighted individuals. Acta Psychologica, 132 (2). pp. 145-156. ISSN 0001-6918

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Abstract:In order to find objects or places in the world, multiple sources of information, such as visual input, auditory input and asking for directions, can help you. These different sources of information can be converged into a spatial image, which represents configurational characteristics of the world. This paper discusses the findings on the nature of spatial images and the role of spatial language in generating these spatial images in both blind and sighted individuals. Congenitally blind individuals have never experienced visual input, yet they are able to perform several tasks traditionally associated with spatial imagery, such as mental scanning, mental pathway completions and mental clock time comparison, though perhaps not always in a similar manner as sighted. Therefore, they offer invaluable insights into the exact nature of spatial images. We will argue that spatial imagery exceeds the input from different input modalities to form an abstract mental representation while maintaining connections with the input modalities. This suggests that the nature of spatial images is supramodal, which can explain functional equivalent results from verbal and perceptual inputs for spatial situations and subtle to moderate behavioral differences between the blind and sighted.
Item Type:Article
Copyright:© 2009 Elsevier
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS)
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/70517
Official URL:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2009.04.002
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