The influence of visual experience on visual and spatial imagery

Matthijs Leendert Noordzij, Sander Zuidhoek, Albert Postma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

44 Citations (Scopus)


Differences are reported between blind and sighted participants on a visual-imagery and a spatial-imagery task, but not on an auditory-imagery task. For the visual-imagery task, participants had to compare object forms on the basis of a (verbally presented) object name. In the spatial-imagery task, they had to compare angular differences on the basis of the position of clock hands on two clock faces, again only on the basis of verbally presented clock times. Interestingly, there was a difference between early-blind and late-blind participants on the visual-imagery and the spatial-imagery tasks: late-blind participants made more errors than sighted people on the visual-imagery task, while early-blind participants made more errors than sighted people on the spatial-imagery task. This difference suggests that, for visual (form) imagery, people use the channel currently available (haptic for the blind; visual for the sighted). For the spatial-imagery task in this study reliance on haptic processing did not seem to suffice, and people benefited from visual experience and ability. However, the difference on the spatial-imagery task between early-blind and sighted people in this study might also be caused by differences in experience with the analogue clock faces that formed the basis for the spatial judgments.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)101-112
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • IR-73316

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