8 December 2023 - 8 December 2023
1:00PM - 2:00PM
L68, Psychology building
This talk is part of the Department of Psychology (Durham University) seminar series.
Would a person born blind who regained sight via some surgical intervention be able to learn to ‘see’? That is, would that individual be able to interpret the images that reach the retina and combine them with other senses in order to build a multisensory representation of the world and to interact with the environment? I will present the results of a 6-year project conducted in Ethiopia on children and adolescents that our team surgically treated for congenital dense bilateral cataracts several years from birth. We investigated the development of multisensory integration, sensorimotor abilities, and space perception, and whether targeted audio-visuomotor training could boost such a recovery. Our findings show that, despite years of visual impairment, cataract-treated individuals retain considerableplasticity, and can develop multisensory, sensorimotor, and spatial abilities after surgery. Such an improvement can be enhanced by employing targeted training strengthening the association between body movements and their sensory counterpart.
Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Liverpool Hope University
Irene completed her PhD in Experimental Psychology, Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience in Milan, Italy. She then worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Germany, first at Bielefeld University and then at Ulm University. Irene investigates the development of multisensory perception and sensorimotor abilities in typical and atypical populations. Moreover, she develops training procedures using augmented feedback in real environments and VR settings to improve mobility and sensorimotor learning.