Matching Items (5)

Physiological Adaptations to Blindness: Current Review of How Human Senses Are Impacted Upon the Onset of Blindness

Description

The goal of this paper is to describe the current understanding of how a human’s remaining senses are affected by the onset of blindness through physiological adaptations. The main focuses

The goal of this paper is to describe the current understanding of how a human’s remaining senses are affected by the onset of blindness through physiological adaptations. The main focuses of this paper stem around the brain and how it adapts to blindness through mechanisms such as neuroplasticity. This paper will explore the increased acuity of both tactile and auditory processing as well as spatial navigation resulting from the onset of blindness. This paper will also explore the enhanced ability of the blind to echolocate as well as the mechanisms of homeostasis that underlie this ability. Finally, this paper will report on the lack of enhancement for the senses of taste and smell in humans after the onset of blindness and possible reasons why there are no observed increases in potential. It is the hope of the writers that this paper will cover the current state of knowledge on the phenomenon of adaptations resulting from the onset of blindness to such an extent that this information can be presented in a podcast format later on.

Disclaimer: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the final outcomes of this project were impacted and limited. Therefore, the rough draft practice podcast session has been uploaded to accompany the written thesis portion as final recordings could not be recorded at this time.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Combining thickness information with surface tensor-based morphometry for the 3D statistical analysis of the corpus callosum

Description

In blindness research, the corpus callosum (CC) is the most frequently studied sub-cortical structure, due to its important involvement in visual processing. While most callosal analyses from brain structural magnetic

In blindness research, the corpus callosum (CC) is the most frequently studied sub-cortical structure, due to its important involvement in visual processing. While most callosal analyses from brain structural magnetic resonance images (MRI) are limited to the 2D mid-sagittal slice, we propose a novel framework to capture a complete set of 3D morphological differences in the corpus callosum between two groups of subjects. The CCs are segmented from whole brain T1-weighted MRI and modeled as 3D tetrahedral meshes. The callosal surface is divided into superior and inferior patches on which we compute a volumetric harmonic field by solving the Laplace's equation with Dirichlet boundary conditions. We adopt a refined tetrahedral mesh to compute the Laplacian operator, so our computation can achieve sub-voxel accuracy. Thickness is estimated by tracing the streamlines in the harmonic field. We combine areal changes found using surface tensor-based morphometry and thickness information into a vector at each vertex to be used as a metric for the statistical analysis. Group differences are assessed on this combined measure through Hotelling's T2 test. The method is applied to statistically compare three groups consisting of: congenitally blind (CB), late blind (LB; onset > 8 years old) and sighted (SC) subjects. Our results reveal significant differences in several regions of the CC between both blind groups and the sighted groups; and to a lesser extent between the LB and CB groups. These results demonstrate the crucial role of visual deprivation during the developmental period in reshaping the structural architecture of the CC.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Examining the Air Travel Experiences of Individuals with Vision Disabilities Using a Co-cultural Theoretical Lens

Description

Traveling is one of the most enriching and fulfilling activities for most people. Yet factors such as crowded airports, long waiting queues, and inaccessible features of airports and airplanes often

Traveling is one of the most enriching and fulfilling activities for most people. Yet factors such as crowded airports, long waiting queues, and inaccessible features of airports and airplanes often make traveling stressful for many individuals including those with disabilities. This qualitative phenomenological research study examined the underexplored area of traveling with a vision disability. Framed around a Co-cultural theoretical perspective, the study examined the lived experiences of vision impaired individuals with regard to receiving disability assistance services during air travel. The study specifically explored the communication strategies that vision impaired individuals employed to manage their assistance-related air travel needs. The study used in-depth interviews for data collection, and a combination of thematic analysis techniques for data analysis. Findings indicated four categories of assistance-related issues that vision impaired participants frequently experienced in their travel: personnel training issues, system issues, policy issues, and physical accessibility issues. The study also identified four Co-cultural communication orientations that participants used in navigating air travel: assertive accommodation, aggressive accommodation, assertive assimilation, and nonassertive assimilation. In addition, the study identified a new Co-cultural communication practice - normalizing for self. Findings of this research conclude that despite three decades since the passage of United States legislation to protect the rights of disabled people, vision impaired travelers still frequently experience inequitable air travel practices. The study offers recommendations on pressing issues concerning policies and regulations that can inform airline executives and federal legislators in facilitating a more equitable and pleasurable air travel experience for those with vision disabilities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Overshadowing sight: the story of blindness in twenty-first century Latin American narrative and visual culture

Description

Coming out from under the shadow of sight, blindness has a story to tell. From Tiresias to The Miracle Worker, literary and visual representations of blindness are cornerstones of compelling

Coming out from under the shadow of sight, blindness has a story to tell. From Tiresias to The Miracle Worker, literary and visual representations of blindness are cornerstones of compelling tales of loss and overcoming. In support of the inherent value of sight, these conventional narratives overshadow the stories and lived experiences of blind people themselves. In light of this misrepresentation, I explore what it means to read, write, and see blindness, as well as consider the implications of being blind in present-day Latin America. I achieve this through a transnational and interdisciplinary analysis of novels, short stories, film, and photography by blind and sighted artists and writers whose work has been published or exhibited after the year 2000. In this context, I will demonstrate how blindness can serve as a lens through which the production and reception of narrative and visual culture can be critically evaluated from a blind person’s perspective. Most importantly, this dissertation showcases the critical and creative work of blind people in order to demystify stereotypes and contextualize anxieties surrounding blindness, perception, and identity.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Mediated social interpersonal communication: evidence-based understanding of multimedia solutions for enriching social situational awareness

Description

Social situational awareness, or the attentiveness to one's social surroundings, including the people, their interactions and their behaviors is a complex sensory-cognitive-motor task that requires one to be engaged thoroughly

Social situational awareness, or the attentiveness to one's social surroundings, including the people, their interactions and their behaviors is a complex sensory-cognitive-motor task that requires one to be engaged thoroughly in understanding their social interactions. These interactions are formed out of the elements of human interpersonal communication including both verbal and non-verbal cues. While the verbal cues are instructive and delivered through speech, the non-verbal cues are mostly interpretive and requires the full attention of the participants to understand, comprehend and respond to them appropriately. Unfortunately certain situations are not conducive for a person to have complete access to their social surroundings, especially the non-verbal cues. For example, a person is who is blind or visually impaired may find that the non-verbal cues like smiling, head nod, eye contact, body gestures and facial expressions of their interaction partners are not accessible due to their sensory deprivation. The same could be said of people who are remotely engaged in a conversation and physically separated to have a visual access to one's body and facial mannerisms. This dissertation describes novel multimedia technologies to aid situations where it is necessary to mediate social situational information between interacting participants. As an example of the proposed system, an evidence-based model for understanding the accessibility problem faced by people who are blind or visually impaired is described in detail. From the derived model, a sleuth of sensing and delivery technologies that use state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms in combination with novel haptic interfaces are developed towards a) A Dyadic Interaction Assistant, capable of helping individuals who are blind to access important head and face based non-verbal communicative cues during one-on-one dyadic interactions, and b) A Group Interaction Assistant, capable of provide situational awareness about the interaction partners and their dynamics to a user who is blind, while also providing important social feedback about their own body mannerisms. The goal is to increase the effective social situational information that one has access to, with the conjuncture that a good awareness of one's social surroundings gives them the ability to understand and empathize with their interaction partners better. Extending the work from an important social interaction assistive technology, the need for enriched social situational awareness is everyday professional situations are also discussed, including, a) enriched remote interactions between physically separated interaction partners, and b) enriched communication between medical professionals during critical care procedures, towards enhanced patient safety. In the concluding remarks, this dissertation engages the readers into a science and technology policy discussion on the potential effect of a new technology like the social interaction assistant on the society. Discussing along the policy lines, social disability is highlighted as an important area that requires special attention from researchers and policy makers. Given that the proposed technology relies on wearable inconspicuous cameras, the discussion of privacy policies is extended to encompass newly evolving interpersonal interaction recorders, like the one presented in this dissertation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011