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Blind Braille readers mislocate tactile stimuli

Sterr, Annette, Green, Lisa and Elbert, Thomas (2003) Blind Braille readers mislocate tactile stimuli Biological Psychology, 63. pp. 117-127.

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In a previous experiment, we observed that blind Braille readers produce errors when asked to identify on which finger of one hand a light tactile stimulus had occurred. With the present study, we aimed to specify the characteristics of this perceptual error in blind and sighted participants. The experiment confirmed that blind Braille readers mislocalised tactile stimuli more often than sighted controls, and that the localisation errors occurred significantly more often at the right reading hand than at the non-reading hand. Most importantly, we discovered that the reading fingers showed the smallest error frequency, but the highest rate of stimulus attribution. The dissociation of perceiving and locating tactile stimuli in the blind suggests altered tactile information processing. Neuroplasticity, changes in tactile attention mechanisms as well as the idea that blind persons may employ different strategies for tactile exploration and object localisation are discussed as possible explanations for the results obtained. Keywords: Touch; Tactile perception; Somatosensory; Spatial discrimination

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Green, Lisa
Elbert, Thomas
Date : 2003
Additional Information : copyright 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
Depositing User : Annette Sterr
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 14:40
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:32

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