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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: K. Sathian, Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, WMB-6000, 101 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA, krish.sathian@emory.edu

We especially thank our participants for their involvement in our studies

We are also grateful to Amir Amedi for kindly providing an abstract word list; the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta, Georgia, the Georgia chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and the Georgia Radio Reading Service for assistance in recruiting; Dr. Valerie Biousse for neuro-ophthalmologic assessment; and Gianpaolo Occelli for technical assistance.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

This work was supported by NIH grant R01 EY012440 to KS and NIH/NEI grant R01 EY019924 to LBM. Support to CS and KS from the Veterans Administration is also gratefully acknowledged

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Digit span
  • Spatial
  • Memory
  • Imagery
  • MRC PSYCHOLINGUISTIC DATABASE
  • COORDINATE SPATIAL RELATIONS
  • SHORT-TERM-MEMORY
  • VISUAL EXPERIENCE
  • SIGHTED CHILDREN
  • ADAPTIVE-CHANGES
  • COGNITIVE-STYLE
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • FLUENCY
  • PERFORMANCE

Enhanced verbal abilities in the congenitally blind

Tools:

Journal Title:

Experimental Brain Research

Volume:

Volume 235, Number 6

Publisher:

, Pages 1709-1718

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review

Abstract:

Numerous studies have found that congenitally blind individuals have better verbal memory than their normally sighted counterparts. However, it is not known whether this reflects superiority of verbal or memory abilities. In order to distinguish between these possibilities, we tested congenitally blind participants and normally sighted control participants, matched for age and education, on a range of verbal and spatial tasks. Congenitally blind participants were significantly better than sighted controls on all the verbal tasks but the groups did not differ significantly on the spatial tasks. Thus, the congenitally blind appear to have superior verbal, but not spatial, abilities. This may reflect greater reliance on verbal information and the involvement of visual cortex in language processing in the congenitally blind.

Copyright information:

© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA)

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