Perception of sonified representations of complex systems by people who are blind

Orly Lahav, Jihad Kittany, Sharona T. Levy, Miriam Furst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research focused on examining the sonification properties that can lead people who are blind to distinguish and to identify different sounds. This research included 10 participants, all of whom were examined individually. They listened to a sonified scenario, which was generated by an agent-based NetLogo computer model of a gas particle in a container. The participants identified the different sounds as opposed to examining their ability to identify the value of the sounds or to understand the scientific phenomena as a result of hearing the model scenario. This research found that, in regard to complexity levels, the participants were able to identify stimuli that included up to four sounds. The analyses reveal that in the second trial the participants displayed heightened ability. The long-term practical benefits of this research may well influence program developers in education and rehabilitation for people who are blind. A learning environment based on sonified feedback can address a central need among people who are blind, providing equal access to learning environments equivalent to those available to sighted users and allowing independent interaction with exploratory materials and control of the learning process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalAssistive Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 RESNA.


  • accessibility
  • assistive technology
  • auditory perception
  • blind
  • education
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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