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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Dec;71:240-251. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.08.019. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

From science to technology: Orientation and mobility in blind children and adults.

Author information

1
U-VIP: Unit for Visually Impaired People, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.
2
iCub Facility, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy.
3
U-VIP: Unit for Visually Impaired People, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy. Electronic address: monica.gori@iit.it.

Abstract

The last quarter of a century has seen a dramatic rise of interest in the development of technological solutions for visually impaired people. However, despite the presence of many devices, user acceptance is low. Not only are visually impaired adults not using these devices but they are also too complex for children. The majority of these devices have been developed without considering either the brain mechanisms underlying the deficit or the natural ability of the brain to process information. Most of them use complex feedback systems and overwhelm sensory, attentional and memory capacities. Here we review the neuroscientific studies on orientation and mobility in visually impaired adults and children and present the technological devices developed so far to improve locomotion skills. We also discuss how we think these solutions could be improved. We hope that this paper may be of interest to neuroscientists and technologists and it will provide a common background to develop new science-driven technology, more accepted by visually impaired adults and suitable for children with visual disabilities.

PMID:
27608959
DOI:
10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.08.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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