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Friday / August 12.
HomeminewsBlindness Enhances Senses

Blindness Enhances Senses

Research suggests not only is there a real connection between vision and other senses, but that connection is important to better understand the underlying mechanisms that can quickly trigger sensory changes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

This may demystify the true potential of human adaptation and, ultimately, help develop innovative and effective methods for rehabilitation following sensory loss or injury.

While studies have shown, in terms of hearing, that blind people are better at localising sound, two big questions about blindness and enhanced abilities remain unanswered: Can blindness improve more complex auditory abilities and, if so, can these changes be triggered after only a few minutes of visual deprivation, similar to those seen with tactile abilities?

For the study, François Champoux, director of the University of Montreal’s Laboratory of Auditory Neuroscience Research used a simple test involving harmonicity. The task was administered twice, separated by a 90-minute interval during which time half of the participants kept the blindfold on, depriving them of all visual input.

This may demystify the true potential of human adaptation and, ultimately, help develop innovative and effective methods

There were no significant differences between the groups in their ability to differentiate harmonicity prior to visual deprivation. However, results following visual deprivation revealed visually deprived individuals performed significantly better than the group that took their blindfolds off.

Prof. Champouz said the results suggest the potential for change in auditory perception is much greater than previously assumed.

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