There is a common belief that blind people experience heightened auditory and olfactory abilities, hearing and smell. However, a new study indicates that blind people have more of a challenge determining the location where sounds originate. The researchers found that such people needed additional timing cues to accurately decide the location of sounds played from a line of speakers.
"This work teaches us that our audio-space representation is mediated by our visual experience," says first author Monica Gori of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. "In absence of vision, auditory spatial skills are not always enhanced - and in some cases, such as in the space bisection task studied here, these can be impaired."
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“Study finds blind people depend on timing cues for some spatial awareness”