NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Auditory cues for orientation and postural control in sighted and congenitally blind peopleThis study assessed whether stationary auditory information could affect body and head sway (as does visual and haptic information) in sighted and congenitally blind people. Two speakers, one placed adjacent to each ear, significantly stabilized center-of-foot-pressure sway in a tandem Romberg stance, while neither a single speaker in front of subjects nor a head-mounted sonar device reduced center-of-pressure sway. Center-of-pressure sway was reduced to the same level in the two-speaker condition for sighted and blind subjects. Both groups also evidenced reduced head sway in the two-speaker condition, although blind subjects' head sway was significantly larger than that of sighted subjects. The advantage of the two-speaker condition was probably attributable to the nature of distance compared with directional auditory information. The results rule out a deficit model of spatial hearing in blind people and are consistent with one version of a compensation model. Analysis of maximum cross-correlations between center-of-pressure and head sway, and associated time lags suggest that blind and sighted people may use different sensorimotor strategies to achieve stability.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Easton, R. D. (Boston College, Department of Psychology Chestnut Hill, MA 02167, United States)
Greene, A. J.
DiZio, P.
Lackner, J. R.
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Experimentation cerebrale
Volume: 118
Issue: 4
ISSN: 0014-4819
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Neuroscience
Clinical Trial
Non-NASA Center