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Reported March 10, 2014

Blind Can See Using Sound?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – A recent study shows people born unable to see can learn to perceive the shape of the human body through soundscapes that translate images into sound, according to researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The researchers found that with less than 70 hours of training, study participants could recognize the presence of a human form and also detect exact posture and imitate it. The idea is to replace information from a missing sense by using input from a different sense, researcher Amir Amedi, of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explained. It's just like how bats and dolphins use sounds and echolocation to 'see' using their ears.

“We're beginning to understand [that] the brain is more than a pure sensory machine, Amedi was quoted as saying. “It is a highly flexible task machine, [and] the time has come to revive the focus on practical visual rehabilitation with sensory substitution devices.”

For more information, go to:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982214001481

SOURCE: Current Biology, February 2014

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