A systematic computerized training program for using Sensory Substitution Devices in real-life

Ophir Netzer, Galit Buchs, Benedetta Heimler, Amir Amedi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the past decades, Sensory Substitution Devices (SSDs) have been widely used as a research tool to unravel the properties of the sensory brain. Although their rehabilitation potential is repeatedly demonstrated, SSDs were never widely adopted by blind individuals in everyday life, except for a few super-users' cases. One reason explaining this gap is the lack of structured SSD training programs for everyday use. We thus developed an ambitious computerized SSD training program using the EyeMusic visual-to-auditory SSD and gathered 10 blind participants to test its efficiency. Participants were trained to identify pictures of real objects from different categories (e.g., furniture). For each category, we tested the performance of participants before training and again after 10 hours of dedicated training. The test included both trained and untrained stimuli. The 10 hours training program involved a combination of static stimuli and dynamic computer games and was individually adapted to participants' learning pace. Initial results show that after training, participants achieved significantly higher accuracy rates in object recognition compared to baseline for trained and most importantly, for untrained objects from the same category. This further supports the suitability of SSDs in everyday life, and thus propels their adoption for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICVR 2019 - International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728112855
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation, ICVR 2019 - Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 21 Jul 201924 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation, ICVR
Volume2019-July
ISSN (Electronic)2331-9569

Conference

Conference2019 International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation, ICVR 2019
Country/TerritoryIsrael
CityTel Aviv
Period21/07/1924/07/19

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 IEEE.

Funding

FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme773121

    Keywords

    • blindness
    • generalization
    • multisensory processing
    • rehabilitation
    • sensory substitution
    • training
    • vision impairment

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