Impact Factor 2.810 | CiteScore 3.05
More on impact ›

Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Integr. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnint.2019.00044

Audio space representation in individuals with macular degeneration

 Hafsah Ahmad1, Walter Setti1,  Claudio Campus1, Valentina Facchini2, Elisabetta Capris2,  Giulio Sandini1 and  Monica Gori1*
  • 1Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy
  • 2David Chiossone Onlus, Italy

Blindness is an ideal condition to study the role of visual input on the development of spatial representation. Studies have shown how audio space representation reorganizes in blindness. However, how spatial reorganization works is still unclear. A limit of the study on blindness is that it is a “stable” system and it does not allow studying the mechanisms that subtend the progress of this reorganization. To overcome this problem here we study, for the first time, audio spatial reorganization in 18 adults with Macular Degeneration for which the loss of vision due to scotoma is an ongoing progressive process. Our results show that the loss of vision produces immediate changes in the processing of spatial audio signals. In individuals with Macular Degeneration, the lateral sounds are “attracted” towards the central scotoma position resulting in a strong bias in the spatial auditory percept. This result suggests that the reorganization of audio space representation is a fast and plastic process occurring also later in life, after vision loss.

Keywords: Macular Degeneration, multi-sensory integration, Scotoma, Audio-space representation, PRL

Received: 08 Mar 2019; Accepted: 05 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

Andreas K. Engel, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Reviewed by:

Valerio Santangelo, University of Perugia, Italy
Julian Keil, University of Kiel, Germany  

Copyright: © 2019 Ahmad, Setti, Campus, Facchini, Capris, Sandini and Gori. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Monica Gori, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, 16163, Liguria, Italy, monica.gori@iit.it