Space and time in the sighted and blind

Hello world! A MoMo paper was recently accepted for publication in Cognition. Building on a great idea by Roberto Bottini, we’ve shown that early blind individuals have their own mental time line just like sighted people, which implies that vision isn’t necessary to develop a spatial mapping of time. We’ve also demonstrated that this mental time is qualitatively similar to that of the sighted. This contrasts sharply with previous data by our co-authors Virginie Crollen and Olivier Collignon, who showed that the association between space and numbers is fundamentally different in the sighted and blind. By showing an important difference in the spatial mapping of time and numbers, these new data suggest for the first time that the spatial grounding of different abstract concepts may not be different manifestations of the same underlying cognitive mechanism; rather, they may have different experiential and/or genetic origins. Until 20 June 2015, the paper will be free to everyone at this link.

Special thanks for this work go to the Italian Union for Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Institute for the Blind of Milano for their collaboration.

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