Several pieces of evidence indicate that visual experience during development is fundamental to acquire long-term spatial capabilities. For instance, reaching abilities tend to emerge at 5 months of age in sighted infants, while only later at 10 months of age in blind infants. Moreover, other spatial skills such as auditory localization and haptic orientation discrimination tend to be delayed or impaired in visually impaired children, with a huge impact on the development of sighted-like perceptual and cognitive asset. Here, we report an overview of studies showing that the lack of vision can interfere with the development of coherent multisensory spatial representations and highlight the contribution of current research in designing new tools to support the acquisition of spatial capabilities during childhood.
Part of the book: Visual Impairment and Blindness