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Tiana Bochsler, Gordon Legge, Rachel Gage; Indoor Spatial Updating with Visual and Auditory Restriction. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):957. doi: 10.1167/13.9.957.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Spatial updating refers to the ability to keep track of one’s position and orientation in an environment. Does visual (and auditory) perception of the size and shape of an indoor space facilitate spatial updating? How are people with impaired vision hindered in spatial updating? To begin addressing these issues, we tested 19 normally sighted young adults in several sensory deprivation conditions- artificially reduced acuity (mild blur: 20/135, or severe blur: 20/900), severely restricted field (dia = 8 degrees), and blindfolded with or without environmental auditory cues. Subjects were guided by an experimenter along short, three-segment paths in seven rectangular enclosed spaces (6 rooms and one corridor). Turning angles were non-orthogonal and the lengths of the path segments ranged from 3 to 9 ft. Each path began at the entry to the space and the subject was instructed to drop a place marker (beanbag) at the end of the first route segment. At the end of the route, subjects estimated the length and width of the space, and the distances and directions to the entry point and place marker. Vision status (but not presence or absence of auditory cues) affected performance on estimating space dimensions and the distances to the entry and place marker. Subjects performed significantly better with blur than on the blindfolded and field restriction conditions, p <.05. But vision status did not aid direction estimates of the entry and place marker, with mean absolute errors averaging 20 to 30 degrees. These results suggest that visual perception of room context has more impact on the distance component of spatial updating than the orientation component. Performance with high acuity and severe field restriction was no better than blindfolded performance, raising the possibility that people with very narrow fields may have as much trouble with spatial updating as people who are blind.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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