Blind people develop accurate mental map by playing 'video' game

Sep 19, 2012

Researchers have developed a new "video" game for blind people that can help them learn about a new space using only audio cues, as reported Sep. 19 in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

The system, developed by a team led by Lotfi Merabet of Harvard Medical School and Jaime Sánchez of the University of Chile, is called the Audiobased Environment Simulator and uses only audio-based cues to allow blind users to learn about the layout of a previously unfamiliar building.

After playing the game, participants were better able to navigate a real-world version of the space explored in the , confirming that the spatial information learned in the game was accurate and transferrable.

"Learning through such interactive games represents an innovative and motivating way to improve crucial skills that allow to remain functionally independent", says Merabet.

Explore further: Google's streaming music service adds mood to mix

More information: Merabet LB, Connors EC, Halko MA, Sa´nchez J (2012) Teaching the Blind to Find Their Way by Playing Video Games. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44958. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044958

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Leveling the gaming field

May 13, 2008

A new computer game developed by MIT and Singaporean students makes it possible for visually impaired people to play the game on a level field with their sighted friends.

Virtual maps for the blind

Sep 10, 2009

The blind and visually impaired often rely on others to provide cues and information on navigating through their environments. The problem with this method is that it doesn't give them the tools to venture out on their own, ...

Recommended for you

Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles

6 minutes ago

The U.S. government is adding more than 3 million vehicles to a rare warning about faulty air bags that have the potential to kill or injure drivers or passengers in a crash.

Fighting cyber-crime one app at a time

29 minutes ago

This summer Victoria University of Wellington will be home to four Singaporean students researching cyber threats. The students have been working with Dr Ian Welch, a lecturer in Victoria's School of Engineering and Computer ...

Using sound to picture the world in a new way

53 minutes ago

Have you ever thought about using acoustics to collect data? The EAR-IT project has explored this possibility with various pioneering applications that impact on our daily lives. Monitoring traffic density ...

User comments : 0