Blindness and Brain Plasticity in Navigation and Object Perception

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Description: Reviewed by Steven J. La Grow The book, Blindness and Brain Plasticity in Navigation and Object Perception, edited by John J. Rieser, Daniel H. Ashmead, Ford F. Ebner, and Anne L. Corn, emerged as the outcome of a workshop organized by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, with funding from the National Eye Institute, National Instititues of Health, and other sources, that explored the connections among the topics of blindness, animal models of brain plasticity (the degree to which the organization of the brain is amenable to change as a result of experience), human brain imaging, cognitive science, and rehabilitation engineering. Various chapters explore the evidence for cortical remapping (the recruitment of the visual cortex of blind people for storing nonvisual input); the impact of visual deprivation on spatial orientation; the use of sound and tactile information to substitute for vision; and the possible differences in tactile discrimination, echolocation, and spatial orientation abilities among individuals who are blind, including those with early- and late-onset blindness.
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