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Implicit human echolocation


I have a general knowledge of the literature on human echolocation: sighted-blindfolded listeners are capable of locating nearby surfaces from the reflections of self-generated sounds, when they are instructed to do so.

However, does echolocation persist in absence of explicit instructions?

An improbable single-trial experiment could address this question: blindfolded participants are asked to walk along a path, as long as they wish. They wouldn't be informed that a wall is obstructing the path. Unfortunately, the number of injuries would measure implicit echolocation abilities.

Is anybody aware of related, more ethical studies?

Thank you,


Bruno L. Giordano, Ph.D.
Music Perception and Cognition Laboratory
CIRMMT http://www.cirmmt.mcgill.ca/
Schulich School of Music, McGill University
555 Sherbrooke Street West
Montréal, QC H3A 1E3
Office: +1 514 398 4535 ext. 00900