Investigating Visual to Auditory Crossmodal Compensation in a Model For Acute Blindness
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This study examined neural integration of the sensory modalities of vision and hearing. The objective is to investigate whether an effect of cross-modal compensation of visual to auditory networks in human participants occurs with the deprivation of visual input. This model for acute blindness had a novel design that attempted to imitate true blindness. The experiment involved 10 participants wearing opaque contact lenses that blocked visual feedback for a total of five hours. The duration of the total experiment was approximately eight hours, and involved seven sessions. The overall accuracy across time did not improve in blind individuals (p = 0.586), however, there was a significant finding in speaker accuracy (p<0.000), and a significant interaction between session and speaker (p=0.004). Reaction time generated a main effect of session (p<0.000) and a significant main effect of speaker (p<0.000), but no significant interaction between session and speaker with respect to reaction time.