Shachar Maidenbaum

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PURPOSE Sensory-substitution devices (SSDs) provide auditory or tactile representations of visual information. These devices often generate unpleasant sensations and mostly lack color information. We present here a novel SSD aimed at addressing these issues. METHODS We developed the EyeMusic, a novel visual-to-auditory SSD for the blind, providing both(More)
PURPOSE Visual sensory substitution devices (SSDs) use sound or touch to convey information that is normally perceived by vision. The primary focus of prior research using SSDs was the perceptual components of learning to use SSDs and their neural correlates. However, sensorimotor integration is critical in the effort to make SSDs relevant for everyday(More)
Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) have come a long way since first developed for visual rehabilitation. They have produced exciting experimental results, and have furthered our understanding of the human brain. Unfortunately, they are still not used for practical visual rehabilitation, and are currently considered as reserved primarily for experiments in(More)
PURPOSE OF REVIEW The exciting view of our brain as highly flexible task-based and not sensory-based raises the chances for visual rehabilitation, long considered unachievable, given adequate training in teaching the brain how to see. Recent advances in rehabilitation approaches, both noninvasive, like sensory substitution devices (SSDs) which present(More)
Distinct preference for visual number symbols was recently discovered in the human right inferior temporal gyrus (rITG). It remains unclear how this preference emerges, what is the contribution of shape biases to its formation and whether visual processing underlies it. Here we use congenital blindness as a model for brain development without visual(More)
PURPOSE Independent mobility is one of the most pressing problems facing people who are blind. We present the EyeCane, a new mobility aid aimed at increasing perception of environment beyond what is provided by the traditional White Cane for tasks such as distance estimation, navigation and obstacle detection. METHODS The "EyeCane" enhances the(More)
Under certain specific conditions people who are blind have a perception of space that is equivalent to that of sighted individuals. However, in most cases their spatial perception is impaired. Is this simply due to their current lack of access to visual information or does the lack of visual information throughout development prevent the proper integration(More)
Distance information is critical to our understanding of our surrounding environment, especially in virtual reality settings. Unfortunately, as we gage distance mainly visually, the blind are prevented from properly utilizing this parameter to formulate 3D cognitive maps and cognitive imagery of their surroundings. We show qualitatively that with no(More)
Mobility training programs for helping the blind navigate through unknown places with a White-Cane significantly improve their mobility. However, what is the effect of new assistive technologies, offering more information to the blind user, on the underlying premises of these programs such as navigation patterns? We developed the virtual-EyeCane, a(More)
Graphical virtual environments are currently far from accessible to blind users as their content is mostly visual. This is especially unfortunate as these environments hold great potential for this population for purposes such as safe orientation, education, and entertainment. Previous tools have increased accessibility but there is still a long way to go.(More)