In vision and touch, pictures trigger equations for surfaces and edges

Authored by: John M. Kennedy

The Routledge Handbook of Visual Impairment

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138085411
eBook ISBN: 9781315111353
Adobe ISBN:


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In a few seconds, touch can reveal a tactile picture’s shapes. The shapes are taken as representations. As examples, this chapter offers sketches drawn by EW, a blind adult. In theory, visible and tangible outline pictures rely on the same principle: a line can stand for a surface edge. The result is six options – combinations of foreground and background. The chapter argues that, in theory, edges, solid lines and dotted lines trigger an equation. For surfaces, two equations are needed.

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