2017 Volume 29 Issue 11 Pages 1981-1986
[Purpose] This study compares the orientation sense of sighted and visually impaired participants to provide basic research on the audiospatial cognitive ability of visually impaired athletes. [Subjects and Methods] Subjects included nine blind athletes and seven sighted subjects wearing eyeshades during static and dynamic tasks. In the static spatial cognitive task, a coin was dropped towards the right, center, or left of the subject, and the task consisted of identifying the location of the coin. In the dynamic spatial cognitive task, performed with the participant walking, an auditory stimulus was provided. In both spatial cognitive tasks, the independent variables consisted of the “blind athlete” and “sight” groups, as well as three directions; a one-way analysis of variance was performed with the mean error angle as a dependent variable using IBM SPSS Statistics. [Results] The error angles found in the rightward and leftward directions during the static task showed no significant differences, but in the dynamic task, the sight group showed a markedly greater error in the left side, indicating a right-and-left asymmetry in spatial cognition. [Conclusion] Our results suggest a highly developed skill of instantly determining the spatial orientation of auditory information in dynamic situations in blind athletes.