Making sense of sensory language: Acquisition of sensory knowledge by individuals with congenital sensory impairments.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

The present article provides a narrative review on how language communicates sensory information and how knowledge of sight and sound develops in individuals born deaf or blind. Studying knowledge of the perceptually inaccessible sensory domain for these populations offers a lens into how humans learn about that which they cannot perceive. We first review the linguistic strategies within language that communicate sensory information. Highlighting the power of language to shape knowledge, we next review the detailed knowledge of sensory information by individuals with congenital sensory impairments, limitations therein, and neural representations of imperceptible phenomena. We suggest that the acquisition of sensory knowledge is supported by language, experience with multiple perceptual domains, and cognitive and social abilities which mature over the first years of life, both in individuals with and without sensory impairment. We conclude by proposing a developmental trajectory for acquiring sensory knowledge in the absence of sensory perception.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Campbell, EE; Bergelson, E

Published Date

  • September 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 174 /

Start / End Page

  • 108320 -

PubMed ID

  • 35842021

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-3514

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-3932

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2022.108320


  • eng