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Spatial updating of locations specified by 3-d sound and spatial language.
Blind and blindfolded sighted observers were presented with auditory stimuli specifying target locations. The stimulus was either sound from a loudspeaker or spatial language (e.g., "2 o'clock, 16 ft"). On each trial, an observer attempted to walk to the target location along a direct or indirect path. The ability to mentally keep track of the target location without concurrent perceptual information about it (spatial updating) was assessed in terms of the separation between the stopping points for the 2 paths. Updating performance was very nearly the same for the 2 modalities, indicating that once an internal representation of a location has been determined, subsequent updating performance is nearly independent of the modality used to specify the representation.