Visual-thinking in congenitally blind individuals

Deny Junaidy, Budi Isdianto, Gregorius Prasetyo Adhitama, Kuku Rizki Satriaji, Michael Proulx

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What is mental imagery like for the congenitally blind? Using a combined storytelling and clay modelling task and an analysis of the clay models in terms of a physical ontological concept, we observed the visual-like abstraction of congenitally blind individuals. Next, we observed their distinct mental lexicon construction through an analysis of how they include attributive adjectives of an animal’s savageness using semantic memory. The results demonstrated that visual thinking is a conflict between immature visual cognitive resource with critical adult logic induced by the absence of visual recognition and the proper resources for a mental lexicon. This leads to feelings of estrangement, which allows this ambiguous concept to occur. To capture visual phenomena, their brain harnesses another particular mode of thinking, associative and/or bisociative thinking, as a referral in addition to employing self-body referencing as an archetype. We discuss how these findings can be applied to possible employment opportunities for people with visual impairments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Diversity in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Visual Thinking
  • Congenitally Blind
  • Creativity
  • Bisociative Thinking
  • Clay Modelling


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