Spatial knowledge and geometric representation in a child blind from birth

Science  11 Sep 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4513, pp. 1275-1278
DOI: 10.1126/science.7268438


A series of experiments demonstrated that a congenitally blind 2 1/2-year-old child-as well as sighted but blindfolded children and adults-can determine the appropriate path between two objects after traveling to each of those objects from a third object. This task requires that the child detect the distances and the angular relationship of the familiar paths and that she derive therefrom the angle of the new path. Our research indicates that the locomotion of the young blind child is guided by knowledge of the Euclidean properties of a spatial layout and by principles for making inferences based on those properties.