Medizinische Universität Graz Austria/Österreich - Forschungsportal - Medical University of Graz

Gewählte Publikation:

SHR Neuro Krebs Kardio Lipid

Kreilinger, A; Georgi, T; Pregartner, G; Ivastinovic, D; Pichler, T; Berghold, A; Velikay-Parel, M.
Quantifying the impact on navigation performance in visually impaired: Auditory information loss versus information gain enabled through electronic travel aids.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(4): e0196156-e0196156. [OPEN ACCESS]
Web of Science PubMed PUBMED Central FullText FullText_MUG


Autor/innen der Med Uni Graz:
Berghold Andrea
Georgi Thomas Patrick
Ivastinovic Domagoj
Kreilinger Alex
Pichler Tamara
Pregartner Gudrun
Velikay-Parel Michaela

Dimensions Citations:

Plum Analytics:
Number of Figures: 3
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This study's purpose was to analyze and quantify the impact of auditory information loss versus information gain provided by electronic travel aids (ETAs) on navigation performance in people with low vision. Navigation performance of ten subjects (age: 54.9±11.2 years) with visual acuities >1.0 LogMAR was assessed via the Graz Mobility Test (GMT). Subjects passed through a maze in three different modalities: 'Normal' with visual and auditory information available, 'Auditory Information Loss' with artificially reduced hearing (leaving only visual information), and 'ETA' with a vibrating ETA based on ultrasonic waves, thereby facilitating visual, auditory, and tactile information. Main performance measures comprised passage time and number of contacts. Additionally, head tracking was used to relate head movements to motion direction. When comparing 'Auditory Information Loss' to 'Normal', subjects needed significantly more time (p<0.001), made more contacts (p<0.001), had higher relative viewing angles (p = 0.002), and a higher percentage of orientation losses (p = 0.011). The only significant difference when comparing 'ETA' to 'Normal' was a reduced number of contacts (p<0.001). Our study provides objective, quantifiable measures of the impact of reduced hearing on the navigation performance in low vision subjects. Significant effects of 'Auditory Information Loss' were found for all measures; for example, passage time increased by 17.4%. These findings show that low vision subjects rely on auditory information for navigation. In contrast, the impact of the ETA was not significant but further analysis of head movements revealed two different coping strategies: half of the subjects used the ETA to increase speed, whereas the other half aimed at avoiding contacts.

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