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Changes in the Spatial Distribution of Visual Attention after Early Deafness

By et al. Jason Proksch


There is much anecdotal suggestion of improved visual skills in congenitally deaf individuals. However, this claim has only been met by mixed results from careful investigations of visual skills in deaf individuals. Psychophysical assessments of visual functions have failed, for the most part, to validate the view of enhanced visual skills after deafness. Only a few studies have shown an advantage for deaf individuals in visual tasks. Interestingly, all of these studies share the requirement that participants process visual information in their peripheral visual field under demanding conditions of attention. This work has led us to propose that congenital auditory deprivation alters the gradient of visual attention from central to peripheral field by enhancing peripheral processing. This hypothesis was tested by adapting a search task from Lavie and colleagues in which the interference from distracting information on the search task provides a measure of attentiona

Year: 2002
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