Deafness and visual enumeration: Not all aspects of attention are modified by deafness

Peter C. Hauser, Matthew W.G. Dye, Mrim Boutla, C. Shawn Green, Daphne Bavelier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated that early deafness causes enhancements in peripheral visual attention. Here, we ask if this cross-modal plasticity of visual attention is accompanied by an increase in the number of objects that can be grasped at once. In a first experiment using an enumeration task, Deaf adult native signers and hearing non-signers performed comparably, suggesting that deafness does not enhance the number of objects one can attend to simultaneously. In a second experiment using the Multiple Object Tracking task, Deaf adult native signers and hearing non-signers also performed comparably when required to monitor several, distinct, moving targets among moving distractors. The results of these experiments suggest that deafness does not significantly alter the ability to allocate attention to several objects at once. Thus, early deafness does not enhance all facets of visual attention, but rather its effects are quite specific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Volume1153
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 11 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deafness
  • Enumeration
  • Multiple Object Tracking
  • Plasticity
  • Subitizing
  • Visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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