Cognitive representation of auditory space in blind football experts

Marcella C C Velten, Bettina Bläsing, Leonardo Portes, Thomas Hermann, Thomas Schack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We compared the mental representation of sound directions in blind football players, blind non-athletes and sighted individuals. Design: Standing blindfolded in the middle of a circle with 16 loudspeakers, participants judged whether the directions of two subsequently presented sounds were similar or not. Method: Structure dimensional analysis (SDA) was applied to reveal mean cluster solutions for the groups. Results: Hierarchical cluster analysis via SDA resulted in distinct representation structures of sound directions. The blind football players' mean cluster solution consisted of pairs of neighboring directions. The blind non-athletes also clustered the directions in pairs, but included non-adjacent directions. In the sighted participants' structure, frontal directions were clustered pairwise, the absolute back was singled out, and the side regions accounted for more directions. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the mental representation of egocentric auditory space is influenced by sight and by the level of expertise in auditory-based orientation and navigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-445
Number of pages5
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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