This book breaks new ground in our understanding of how we perceive and represent the space around us - one of the central topics in cognitive psychology. It presents a new view of development and spatial cognition by reversing the usual focus on vision and examining the evidence on representation in the total absence of vision without specific brain damage. Findings from the author's work with congenitally totally blind and with sighted children, together with studies from a wide variety of other areas, are set in the context of intersensory and spatial development. Touch and movement are considered as converging sources of reference information with and without vision. The findings have important implications for future work in many fields, particularly developmental pscychology; cognition, cognitive neuroscience and visual handicap, and make this new work essential reading for students and researchers in these fields.
Introduction: questions and terms ; 1. Modality and cognition in developmental theories and evidence ; 2. The modalities as convergent sources of spatial information ; 3. Neuropsychological evidence on convergence ; 4. Shape coding by vision and touch ; 5. Spatial coding: studies in small-scale space ; 6. Information and understanding large-scale space ; 7. Non-verbal representation: images, drawings, maps, and memory ; 8. Some practical implications ; 9. A theory of spatial understanding and development
Reviews for Understanding and Representing Space: Theory and Evidence from Studies with Blind and Sighted Children
'...The book has many attractive ingredients. It is concerned with important theoretical issues. It draws upon an extensive and varied literature...It really is quite rare to encounter work which maintains a clear focus on such significant representational issues while, at the same time, attempting to apply the ideas directly, in this case to the techniques which might be used to compensate for the absence of sight...the wealth of data which the book provides is sufficient to make it valuable to its target audeince of psychologists, researchers in spatial representation, specialists working with the blind and the merely curious.' * Rob Ellis, Dept. of Psychology, Univ. of Plymouth * The book is a 'must' for researchers probing into the complexities of how the young human child, when deprived of the sense of sight, comprehends and represents space. It will be obligatory reading, too, for those whose investigations have been based on the notion of the primacy of vision. It is a masterly review of the relevant literature, capped by the expounding of a genuinely new and testable model. * Michael Tobin, Research Centre for Education of the Visually Handicapped, Perception, 1998, volume 27 * we have here a very considerable achievement ... particularly welcome ... Susanna Millar, for her work in the field, has deserved a celebratory festschrift; the only problem is that this volume will be a very difficult act to follow! * Christopher Spencer, University of Sheffield, The British Journal of Visual Impairment, 1995 *