Hypotheses for the experiment
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Previous research has shown that blind listeners outperform sighted listeners in a variety of auditory tasks, especially when the tasks involve higher cognitive functions (see section 2.2) and when a physical strategy of encoding (Juurmaa 1967; Röder and Rösler 2003) is used. Unfamiliar speaker identification is also a complex auditory task in which acoustic feature analysis (i.e. physical encoding) plays a key role (cf. Kreiman and Sidtis 2011, p. 184), thus one could assume a superiority of blind over sighted listeners in this task. Previous research in this area, however, yielded conflicting results (see section 2.5.).