Perseveration in congenitally blind children: Effects of luminous and acoustic targets on a modified A-not-B task
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not blind children perseverate during a modified Piagetian A-not-B reaching task, with conditions that employ luminous AB targets and acoustic AB targets. Ten congenitally blind children, ages 1-4 years, with residual vision for light, took part in this study. Behavioral and kinematic data were computed for participants' reaches, performed in six A trials and in two B trials, in both stimulus conditions. All of the children perseverated in the luminous condition, and none of them perseverated in the condition using acoustic targets. The children tilted their heads in the direction of the target as they reached towards it. However, this coupling action (head-reaching) occurred predominantly in the A trials in the acoustic condition. In the luminous condition, in contrast to the acoustic condition, the children took longer times to initiate the reaching movement. Also, in the luminous condition, the children explored the target surroundings, unlike the acoustic condition, in which they reached straight ahead. For these blind children, sound was more relevant to reaching than was the luminous stimulus. The luminous input caused perseveration in congenitally blind children in a similar way that has been reported in the literature for typically-developing, sighted infants, ages 8-12 months, performing A-not-B tasks with visual inputs. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.