Journal article Open Access

Perceiving size through sound in sighted and visually impaired children

Luigi Cuturi; Giulia Cappagli; Alessia Tonelli; Elena Cocchi; Monica Gori


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    <subfield code="a">Exploiting the best sensory modality for learning arithmetic and geometrical concepts based on multisensory interactive Information and Communication Technologies and serious games</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">The role of vision on perceptual space representation</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Associations between sensory features of different natures are defined as crossmodal correspondences.&lt;br&gt;
In the context of size perception, low pitch sound frequencies are often associated with&lt;br&gt;
larger objects and high pitch with smaller objects. Here we investigate such crossmodal correspondences&lt;br&gt;
in sighted and visually-impaired children. In Experiment 1, after listening to sounds&lt;br&gt;
(250&amp;ndash;5000 Hz pure tones), children aged 6&amp;ndash;11 years were asked to draw a circle &amp;quot;as big as the&lt;br&gt;
sound was&amp;quot;. In Experiment 2, children aged 6&amp;ndash;14 years who were blind or had low vision performed&lt;br&gt;
a similar task. In accordance with previous research, we observed that the circle size&lt;br&gt;
drawn depends on participants&amp;rsquo; age and we confirm the presence of pitch-size associations in&lt;br&gt;
sighted children. In visually-impaired children, such associations are influenced by residual&lt;br&gt;
vision, suggesting an anchoring of size perception to level of residual vision. These results reveal&lt;br&gt;
novel dynamics underlying the advancing of visual loss and the emergence of compensatory&lt;br&gt;
mechanisms in childhood.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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