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From Perception to Metacognition: Auditory and Olfactory Functions in Early Blind, Late Blind, and Sighted Individuals
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; Radboud University, Netherlands.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Number of Authors: 4
2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, 1450Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although evidence is mixed, studies have shown that blind individuals perform better than sighted at specific auditory, tactile, and chemosensory tasks. However, few studies have assessed blind and sighted individuals across different sensory modalities in the same study. We tested early blind (n = 15), late blind (n = 15), and sighted (n = 30) participants with analogous olfactory and auditory tests in absolute threshold, discrimination, identification, episodic recognition, and metacognitive ability. Although the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) showed no overall effect of blindness and no interaction with modality, follow-up between-group contrasts indicated a blind-over-sighted advantage in auditory episodic recognition, that was most pronounced in early blind individuals. In contrast to the auditory modality, there was no empirical support for compensatory effects in any of the olfactory tasks. There was no conclusive evidence for group differences in metacognitive ability to predict episodic recognition performance. Taken together, the results showed no evidence of an overall superior performance in blind relative sighted individuals across olfactory and auditory functions, although early blind individuals exceled in episodic auditory recognition memory. This observation may be related to an experience-induced increase in auditory attentional capacity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 7, 1450
Keyword [en]
auditory sense, congenitally blind, compensatory effect, discrimination, pisodic odor memory, identification, metacognition, olfaction
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135247DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01450ISI: 000384508200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135247DiVA: diva2:1045050
Available from: 2016-11-08 Created: 2016-11-01 Last updated: 2016-11-08Bibliographically approved

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Cornell Kärnekull, StinaArshamian, ArtinNilsson, Mats E.Larsson, Maria
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