Spatial information for the execution of motor behavior is acquired by orienting eye and head movements. This information can be found in our direct field of view as well as outside this field. Auditory information is especially helpful in directing our attention to information outside our initial visual field of view. Two topics on the effect of an auditory loss are discussed. Experimental evidence is provided which shows that deaf children have problems in orienting to visual stimuli situated outside their field of view. An overview is given from several studies in which the eye and head movements of deaf children are analyzed. Second, it is suggested that specific visual localization problems are partly responsible for deaf children’s characteristic lag in motor development. The latter is illustrated in two studies involving the gross motor task of ball catching.
The authors are with the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Free University, Van der Boechorststraat 9, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.