Auditory spatial concepts in blind football experts

Marcella C.C. Velten, Herbert Ugrinowitsch, Leonardo L. Portes, Thomas Hermann, Bettina Bläsing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We compared the spatial concepts given to sounds' directions by blind football players with both blind non-athletes and sighted individuals. Method: Participants verbally described the directions of sounds around them by using predefined spatial concept labels, under two blocked conditions: 1) facing front, 2) pointing with the hand towards the stimulus. Results: Blind football players categorized the directions more precisely (i.e., they used simple labels for describing the cardinal directions and combined labels for the intermediate ones) than the other groups, and their categorization was less sensitive to the response conditions than blind non-athletes. Sighted participants' categorization was similar to previous studies, in which the front and back regions were generally more precisely described than the sides, where simple labels were often used for describing directions around the absolute left and right. Conclusions: The differences in conceptual categorization of sound directions are a) in sighted individuals, influenced by the representation of the visual space b) in blind individuals, influenced by the level of expertise in action and locomotion based on non-visual information, which can be increased by auditive stimulation provided by blind football training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-228
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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