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Virtual Localization by Blind Persons

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In order for blind people to better use personal computers, an auditory virtual environment can be used to present information that might otherwise be available only with vision. Auditory objects can be spatial placed in the virtual environment if the user can successfully identify their location. In contrast to sighted subjects, blind subjects were better at detecting movements in the horizontal plane around the head, localizing static frontal audio sources, and orientation in a 2-D virtual audio display. On the other hand, sighted subjects performed better identifying ascending sound sources in the vertical plane and detecting static sources in the back.

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JAES Volume 60 Issue 7/8 pp. 568-579; July 2012
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Alvin Reid
Comment posted September 26, 2012 @ 16:55:46 UTC (Comment permalink)

I'd like to see some elaboration on congenital blindness or blindness since birth vs age related degeneration and traumatic injury to the ocular system.  Since the visual cortex probably never develops in the latter case those individuals may hear bands of frequencies not normally visited by sighted individuals.  Dr. Wersenyi didn't mention this in the paper and was conspicuously absent in touching on these areas.


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