Audio-Based Navigation Using Virtual Environments: Combining Technology and Neuroscience

Citation:

Merabet LB, Jaime Sanchez. Audio-Based Navigation Using Virtual Environments: Combining Technology and Neuroscience. AER Journal: Research and Practice in Visual Impairment and Blindness. 2009;2 (3) :128-137. Copy at https://tinyurl.com/y7u4vqnd

Abstract:

For individuals who are blind, navigation requires the construction of a cognitive spatial map of one’s
surrounding environment. Novel technological approaches are being developed to teach and enhance
this cognitive skill. Here, we discuss user-centered, audio-based methods of virtual navigation
implemented through computer gaming. The immersive, engaging, and heavily interactive nature of the
software allows for the generation of mental spatial representations that can be transferred to real-world
navigation tasks and, furthermore, promotes creativity and problem-solving skills. Navigation with virtual
environments also represents a tractable testing platform to collect quantifiable metrics and monitor
learning. Combining this technology with neuroscience research can be used to investigate brain
mechanisms related to sensory processing in the absence of vision.

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Last updated on 03/22/2012