Egocentric/allocentric and coordinate/categorical haptic encoding in blind people.Cogn Process. 2012 Aug; 13 Suppl 1:S313-7.CP
In this research, the impact of visual experience on the capacity to use egocentric (body-centered) and allocentric (object-centered) representations in combination with categorical (invariant non-metric) and coordinate (variable metric) spatial relations was examined. Participants memorized through haptic (congenitally blind, adventitiously blind, and blindfolded) and haptic + visual (sighted) exploration triads of 3D objects and then they were asked to judge: "which object was closest/farthest to you?" (egocentric-coordinate); "which object was on your left/right?" (egocentric-categorical); "which object was closest/farthest to a target object (e.g., cone)?" (allocentric-coordinate); "which object was on the left/right of the target object (e.g., cone)?" (allocentric-categorical). The results showed a slowdown in processing time when congenitally blind people provided allocentric-coordinate judgments and adventitiously blind people egocentric-categorical judgments. Moreover, in egocentric judgments, adventitiously blind participants were less accurate than sighted participants. However, the overall performance was quite good and this supports the idea that the differences observed are more quantitative than qualitative. The theoretical implications of these results are discussed.