In the first three experiments, subjects felt solid geometrical forms and matched raised-line pictures to the objects. Performance was best in experiment 1 for top views, with shorter response latencies than for side views, front views, or 3-D views with foreshortening. In a second experiment with blind participants, matching accuracy was not significantly affected by prior visual experience, but speed advantages were found for top views, with 3-D views also yielding better matching accuracy than side views. There were no performance advantages for pictures of objects with a constant cross section in the vertical axis. The early-blind participants had lower performance for side and frontal views. The objects were rotated to oblique orientations in experiment 3. Early-blind subjects performed worse than the other subjects given object rotation. Visual experience with pictures of objects at many angles could facilitate identification at oblique orientations. In experiment 5 with blindfolded sighted subjects, tangible pictures were used as targets and as choices. The results yielded superior overall performance for 3-D views (mean, M=74% correct) and much lower matching accuracy for top views as targets (M=58% correct). Performance was highest when the target and matching viewpoint were identical, but 3-D views (M=96% correct) were still far better than top views. The accuracy advantage of the top views also disappeared when more complex objects were tested in experiment 6. Alternative theoretical implications of the results are discussed.
Heller, Morton A.; Kennedy, John M.; Clark, Ashley; McCarthy, Melissa; Borgert, Amber; Wemple, Lindsay; Fulkerson, Erin; Kaffel, Nicole; Duncan, Amy; and Riddle, Tara, "Viewpoint and orientation influence picture recognition in the blind" (2006). Faculty Research and Creative Activity. 7.