Among children learning to read braille, we asked whether the quantitative kinematics of scanning movements of the reading finger would be related to the proficiency of braille reading. Over a period of 12 months, we recorded the position and orientation of the reading fingers of eight congenitally or early blind children. We found that the strength of long-range power-law temporal correlations in the velocity fluctuations increased with performance in braille reading. In addition, we found that the variability of the angular orientation of the reading finger that affects the contact region on the fingerpad was negatively related to braille reading performance. These results confirm that the quantitative kinematics of finger scanning movements were related to functional performance in braille reading. The results add to the growing body of evidence that long-range temporal correlations in exploratory behavior can predict perceptual performance, and that scanning movements that center important tactile information on the small, high resolution area contribute to the pickup of information.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was made possible by the cooperation of the eight children and their families, who participated in the experiments every three months over the course of one year, and by Takashi Ochi and Mika Ninomiya from Hyogo Prefectural School fot Student with Special Visual Needs, and Toru Ohnishi from Kobe City School for the Blind who provided generous support in organizing the experiments that took place in the classrooms. We sincerely thank them. We thank Lila Nagai for her help with the video coding using Datavyu, and Minami Matsumura for the drawing of Fig. 1C. An earlier version of this article was improved by the suggestions of two anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by Grants from JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP18K12013 awarded to T.N. and K.I.
© 2021, The Author(s).