Congenital blindness improves semantic and episodic memory

Achille Pasqualotto, Jade S. Y. Lam, Michael J. Proulx

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Previous studies reported that congenitally blind people possess superior verb-generation skills. Here we tested the impact of blindness on capacity and the fidelity of semantic memory by using a false memory paradigm. In the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm, participants study lists of words that are all semantically related to a lure that is not presented. Subsequently, participants frequently recall the missing lure. We found that congenitally blind participants have enhanced memory performance for recalling the presented words and reduced false memories for the lure. The dissociation of memory capacity and fidelity provides further evidence for enhanced verbal ability in the blind, supported by their broader structural and functional brain reorganisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-165
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Early online date14 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • blindness
  • memory
  • semantic
  • false memory
  • visual impairment


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