Investigation of Blind Spatial Cognition and Understanding of Spaces to Navigate without Vision
Keywords:Spatial Cognition, Navigation, Visual Impairment, Cognitive Mapping Abilities
This study is aimed to report the perspective of people with V.I about their use of spatial representation(cognitive maps) for determining the support level and applicability of cognitive maps while traveling on real routes. This research utilized the methodology of qualitative research in the form of semi structured interviews in order to obtain insights of persons having visual impairment about their navigation in different environments. The interviews were conducted with 20 persons having visual impairment working in different fields of life. The data analysis was done through thematic analysis approach. The participants were intended to answer the questions about the representation and understanding of space, the support level of these representations while traveling, and the role of other senses for successful navigation. The results showed that persons having visual impairment do have spatial representation and the creation of spatial representations does not require visual experience. The study suggested the strong need to assess the way in which persons having visual impairments develop cognitive maps of their environment because it is extremely significant both theoretically and practically and throws light on the role of sensory modalities in the development of mental mapping skills which can in turn recommend how spatial developments might be nourished.
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