Exploring 3D miniatures with action simulations by finger gestures: Study of a new embodied design for blind and sighted children

Citation metadata

From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 2)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,904 words
Lexile Measure: 1480L

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

Tactile books for blind children generally contain tactile illustrations referring to a visual world that can be difficult to understand. This study investigates an innovative way to present content to be explored by touch. Following embodied approaches and evidence about the advantages of manipulations in tactile processing, we examined 3D miniatures that children explored using their middle and index fingers to simulate leg movements. This "Action simulations by finger gestures-ASFG" procedure has a symbolic relevance in the context of blindness. The aim of the present study was to show how the ASFG procedure facilitates the identification of objects by blind and sighted children. Experiment 1 examined the identification of 3D miniatures of action objects (e.g. the toboggan, trampoline) by 8 early blind and 15 sighted children, aged 7 to 12, who explored with the ASFG procedure. Results revealed that objects were very well identified by the two groups of children. Results confirmed hypotheses that ASFG procedures are relevant in the identification process regardless of the visual status of subjects. Experiment (control) 2 studied identification of tactile pictures of same action objects by 8 different early blind and 15 sighted children, aged 7 to 12. Results confirmed that almost all objects obtained lower recognition scores in tactile pictures than in 3D miniatures by both groups and showed surprisingly higher scores in blind children than in sighted children. Taken together, our study provides evidence of the contribution of sensorimotor simulation in the identification of objects by touch and brings innovative solutions in book design for blind people. Moreover, it means that only the ASFG procedure has a very inclusive potential to be relevant for a larger number of subjects, regardless of their visual skills.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A650617209