Semantic Representations in the Blind

Congenitally blind subjects learn representations of concrete objects and spatial concepts without visual input. Given how central vision is for learning conceptual categories and language structures, this raises some important questions:

Painting by Esref Armagan, no. 1 Painting by Esref Armagan, no. 2
- to what extent are semantic representations in the blind and sighted comparable?
- how does the lack of visual cues (and the consequent likely different weight given to other cues) affect linguistic categories and structures?

This web site intendes to contribute to the exploration of these issues by providing access to the following resources collected from a group of congenitally blind Italian subjects and highly comparable sighted subjects:

- semantic norms for concrete and astract Italian nouns and verbs
- a corpus of static and dynamic spatial descriptions

These resources were collected within the project “Semantic representations in the language of the blind: linguistic and neurocognitive studies” (PRIN 2008CM9MY3), funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research