The online community and resource center for all in life science related disciplines (BIOSCIENTISTS)
February 21, 2020, 08:37:03 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Over 3000 Nigerian Life scientists are on ground & willing to provide answers to your bioscience & research questions/problems; You only need to post it online Now! (Requires very brief registration)

To be kept up to date on interesting posts in this forum,  LIKE our facebook page!
.
 
   Home   Help Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Sensory hijack: rewiring brains to see with sound - (Aug, 2010)  (Read 2619 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Francis Umeoguaju
Administrator
Expert in Bioscience Issues
*****
Posts: 657



WWW
« on: August 23, 2010, 05:10:48 pm »


Sensory hijack: rewiring brains to see with sound - (Aug, 2010 bioscience headlines)


A new device that restores a form of sight to the blind is turning our understanding of the senses upside down

CLAIRE CHESKIN used to live in a murky world of grey, her damaged eyes only seeing large objects if they were right next to her. She could detect the outlines of people but not their expressions, and could just about make out the silhouettes of buildings, but no details. Looking into the distance? Forget it.

Nowadays things are looking distinctly brighter for Cheskin. Using a device called vOICe, which translates visual images into "soundscapes", she has trained her brain to "see through her ears". When travelling, the device helps her identify points of interest; at home she uses it to find things she has put down, like coffee cups. "I've sailed across the English Channel and across the North Sea, sometimes using the vOICe to spot landmarks," she says. "The lights on the land were faint but the vOICe could pick them up."
As if the signposting of objects wasn't impressive and useful enough, some long-term users of the device like Cheskin eventually report complete images somewhat akin to normal sight, thanks to a long-term rewiring of their brains. Sometimes these changes are so profound that it alters their perceptions even when they aren't using the device. As such, the vOICe (the "OIC" standing for "Oh, I See") is now proving invaluable as a research tool, providing insights into the brain's mind-boggling capacity for adaptation.

The idea of hijacking another sense to replace lost vision has a long history. One of the first "sensory substitution" devices was developed in 1969 by neuroscientist Paul Bach-y-Rita. He rigged up a television camera to a dentist's chair, on which was a 20-by-20 array of stimulators that translated images into tactile signals by vibrating against the participant's back. Despite the crudeness of the set-up, it allowed blind participants to detect the presence of horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, while skilled users could even associate the physical sensations with faces and common objects.Read more? >>
Sourced from <http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727731.500-sensory-hijack-rewiring-brains-to-see-with-sound.html>


Feel free to post your comments about this story here. Free and brief registration into our bioscience community is required before you can post your comments.


You can also access other interesting & Recent bioscience stories here.

Click here, to subscribe for our monthly free enewletters


You can also suggest new stories here



Logged

Chances favours the trained minds
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SMFAds for Free Forums
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!