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The Construction of Cognitive Maps by Children with Visual Impairments

  • Simon Ungar
  • Mark Blades
  • Christopher Spencer
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 32)

Abstract

The way in which children who have visual impairments construct cognitive maps of their environment is of considerable theoretical and practical importance. It sheds light on the role of sensory experience in the development of spatial cognition which can in turn suggest how spatial skills might be nurtured in visually impaired children. In most of the studies reviewed here, groups of children who lost their sight early in life perform less well on a variety of spatial tasks than sighted children or children who lost their sight later in life. We will argue that it is not the lack of visual experience in itself which produces this pattern, but rather the effect of lack of vision on the spatial coding strategies adopted by the children. Finally we will discuss a number of methods for encouraging visually impaired children to use coding systems which are appropriate for the construction of flexible and integrated cognitive maps, with particular reference to the use of tactile maps.

Keywords

Visual Impairment Mental Rotation Visual Experience Spatial Representation Spatial Task 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Ungar
    • 1
  • Mark Blades
    • 1
  • Christopher Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffield

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