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Mobilisation attentionnelle des piétons aveugles : effets de l’âge, de l’antériorité de la cécité et de l’aide à la mobilité utilisée

Abstract : The main objective of this PhD work was (1) to investigate some cognitive processes in the population of blind individuals and (2) to determine the involvement of these processes in their pedestrian mobility. Demographic factors, such as the age, the age of blindness onset, and the type of mobility aid were studied. Three studies were conducted. The first experiment consisted of assessing 63 blind participants and 42 age-matched sighted participants with a battery of neuropsychological tests. The results showed that blind participants had better performances than sighted participants in tests assessing attentional and working memory functions. Among blind participants, blind participants aged 60 years or older had poorer performances than those of younger blind participants. Findings revealed a detrimental effect of age on neuropsychological performances in blind participants. However, performances of blind participants aged 60 years or older were better than those of sighted participants. The second experiment aimed to study the cognitive load involved in the walking activity of blind individuals. In a controlled environment, 25 blind participants, using a white cane, performed walking trials while executing a secondary task. Findings revealed that the walking activity of blind participants was not impaired by the secondary task. This result suggests that the participants had good abilities to share their attention between two tasks. Participants performed significantly worse the secondary task when increasing the complexity of the walking activity. Participants also reported greater cognitive load while walking and simultaneously performing the secondary task. In addition, the attentional capacities of blind people (measured in the first experiment) had a significant effect on their performances at this second experiment. Similar to the second study, a third experiment was conducted with 13 blind participants using a guide dog. The results suggest that the guide dogs facilitated the walking of participants and reduced the cognitive load involved in the walking in comparison with the participants of the second experiment. Taken together, these results highlight the major role of attention in the mobility of blind individuals. This research offers interesting possibilities of improvement in the mobility of blind people, in terms of rehabilitation and technological applications
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https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01807641
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Caroline Pigeon. Mobilisation attentionnelle des piétons aveugles : effets de l’âge, de l’antériorité de la cécité et de l’aide à la mobilité utilisée. Psychologie. Université de Lyon, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016LYSE2187⟩. ⟨tel-01807641⟩

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