Krista Caudill

Problem Search


The article about the study that found that the parts of the brain

that deal with vision and hearing in hearing and sighted persons can be

rewired in deaf-blind people has some cognitive implications. For example,

this indicates that the domain of sight and hearing can be replaced for

other useful functions. This article shows the concept of neuroplasticity.

This shows that the brain can compensate for the loss of senses. The

localized parts used for sight and hearing can still localize in other

areas. For example, the brain of a person without both sight and hearing

localizes the temporal lobe of the brain to smell or touch. The brain

finds other uses that could be useful to the person. The fact that the

part of the brain used for hearing and sight is still active shows that

there are still neurons working in these parts. It also shows that the

localization of the certain parts of the brain is not limited to sight and

hearing. This is why a deaf/sighted person's temporal lobe is localized in

performing visual tasks.

This could explain why the input and output of other senses are

heightened in people who lose one or more senses. The brain finds other

ways to represent information that is lost with the loss of sight and

hearing. For example, with a deaf-blind person, the brain heightens their

touch or smell so that they can identify things and still have a way to

experience things that people see and hear in some ways. The brain encodes

the mental representations in touch and smell instead of hearing and sight.

This is kind of like "making up" for the loss of senses.

This would be good for people who have brain injuries to be able to

function as close to normal as possible. The output and input change too.

The important concept here is neuroplasticity.


[WF: note the remarkable findings in the article that the visual areas

of the brain are active with Braille and that the speech areas are active with lip reading.]