This new multisensory perspective on such aids (called sensory substitution
devices) could make tasks that were previously attention-consuming much easier, allowing nonsighted people to acquire a new sensory functionality similar to vision.
The device depends on sensory substitution
which involves feeding information from one sense into another.
Washington, March 11 ( ANI ): A new study has revealed that blind people will be able to "hear" colors and shapes with the help of sensory substitution
devices (SSDs), which will be able to convey the information to the brain non-invasively through other senses.
A team from Bath University's psychology department asked blindfolded sighted participants to use the vOICE sensory substitution
device during an eye test.
A second goal is to empirically test scientific implications of the theory in specific, promising areas: namely, color psychophysics, sensory substitution
, child development and developmental robotics.
Chapters examine in detail topics such as types of vision loss and implications thereof, sensory substitution
including tactile response, levels of effectiveness of various technologies, travel assistance, and computer assistance tools.
The concept of sensory substitution
has been widely used in the design of electronic devices for travel (accessible pedestrian signals and the MiniGuide, for example), and for reading and browsing the web (examples include JAWS and the Kurzweil-NFB reader).
The results of the present work can be useful for sensory substitution
and augmentation in stimulation of healthy skin and also have implications in the sensory feedback for hand prostheses and sensory discrimination-based treatment for PLP.
Other subjects are haptic face processing and its relation to vision, large-scale brain plasticity following blindness, and the use of sensory substitution
In addition to exoskeletons, the study also considers the outlook for advanced powered upper-limb prostheses, which substitute for arms, and ocular sensory substitution
devices, which can restore some level of sight to the blind.
Research shows echolocation in blind individuals is a full form of sensory substitution
, and that blind echolocation experts recruit regions of the brain normally associated with visual perception when making echo-based assessments of objects.
The success of the sensory substitution
approach suggests great potential for its use in therapy more broadly, the researchers say.