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Device converting images into music helps individuals without vision reach for objects in space
Date:7/5/2012

re carefully chosen by musicians to create a pleasant experience for the users." Sample sound recordings are available at http://brain.huji.ac.il/em/.

"We demonstrated in this study that the EyeMusic, which employs pleasant musical scales to convey visual information, can be used after a short training period (in some cases, less than half an hour) to guide movements, similar to movements guided visually," explain lead investigators Drs. Shelly Levy-Tzedek, an ELSC researcher at the Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Prof. Amir Amedi. "The level of accuracy reached in our study indicates that performing daily tasks with an SSD is feasible, and indicates a potential for rehabilitative use."

The study tested the ability of 18 blindfolded sighted individuals to perform movements guided by the EyeMusic, and compared those movements to those performed with visual guidance. At first, the blindfolded participants underwent a short familiarization session, where they learned to identify the location of a single object (a white square) or of two adjacent objects (a white and a blue square).

In the test sessions, participants used a stylus on a digitizing tablet to point to a white square located either in the north, the south, the east or the west. In one block of trials they were blindfolded (SSD block), and in the other block (VIS block) the arm was placed under an opaque cover, so they could see the screen but did not have direct visual feedback from the hand. The endpoint location of their hand was marked by a blue square. In the SSD block, they received feedback via the EyeMusic. In the VIS block, the feedback was visual.

"Participants were able to use auditory information to create a relatively precise spatial representation," notes Dr. Levy-Tzedek.

The study lends support to the hypothesis that representation of space in the brain may not
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Contact: Daphne Watrin
d.watrin@iospress.nl
31-206-883-355
IOS Press
Source:Eurekalert  

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