Perception of raised-line pictures in blindfolded-sighted, congenitally blind, late-blind, and low-vision subjects was studied in a series of experiments. The major aim of the study was to examine the value of perspective drawings for haptic pictures and visually impaired individuals. In experiment 1, subjects felt two wooden boards joined at 458, 908, or 1358, and were instructed to pick the correct perspective drawing from among four choices. The first experiment on perspective found a significant effect of visual status, with much higher performance by the low-vision subjects. Mean performance for the congenitally blind subjects was not significantly different from that of the late-blind and blindfolded-sighted subjects. In a further experiment, blindfolded subjects drew tangible pictures of three-dimensional (3-D) geometric solids, and then engaged in a matching task. Counter to expectations, performance was not impaired for the 3-D drawings as compared with the frontal viewpoints. Subjects were also especially fast and more accurate when matching top views. Experiment 5 showed that top views were easiest for all of the visually impaired subjects, including those who were congenitally blind. Experiment 5 yielded higher performance for 3-D than frontal viewpoints. The results of all of the experiments were consistent with the idea that visual experience is not necessary for understanding perspec- tive drawings of geometrical objects.
Heller, Morton A.; Brackett, Deneen D.; Scroggs, Eric; Steffen, Heather; Heatherly, Kim; and Salik, Shana, "Tangible pictures: Viewpoint effects and linear perspective in visually impaired people" (2002). Faculty Research and Creative Activity. 9.