Gori M, Tinelli F, Sandini G, Cioni G, Burr D C, 2011, "Poor visual discrimination of size but not orientation in children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy show: Failure to cross-calibrate between senses?" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 43
Poor visual discrimination of size but not orientation in children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy show: Failure to cross-calibrate between senses?
M Gori, F Tinelli, G Sandini, G Cioni, D C Burr
Multisensory integration of spatial information occurs late in childhood, around 8 years (Gori et al, 2008 Current Biology). Before, touch dominates size discrimination and vision orientation discrimination: we suggest that this dominance reflects sensory calibration. If so, the lack of the possibility for calibration should have direct consequences on children born without the sense that should calibrate. Following this prediction we showed that visually impaired children have reduced acuity for haptic orientation, but not size, discriminations (Gori et al, 2010 Current Biology). The complementary prediction is that children with severe motor disabilities should show reduced precision in visual size, but not orientation, judgments. We measured visual orientation and size discrimination thresholds in children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy and normal intelligence quotient. Visual orientation discriminations were very similar to the age-matched typical children, but visual size discrimination thresholds were far worse. This strongly supports our cross-sensory calibration hypothesis: when the more robust haptic sense of size is unavailable to calibrate the visual, the visual discrimination is impaired, in the same way as the more robust visual sense of orientation is necessary to calibrate the haptic one. When either of these is compromised, the sensory system that they calibrate is also compromised.
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