Do blind people really have a sharpened sense of hearing? What is the explanation? This article reports the work of German researchers who looked at blind people’s brains to try to answer these questions. They found out that indeed, blind people can understand speech even if sped up beyond the maximum rate that sighted people can understand. This seemed possible because the brain areas devoted to vision in people with eye sight turned out to be responding to speech in blind people.
10 syllables per second [is] the absolute limit of comprehension for sighted people. Blind people, however, can comprehend speech sped up to 25 syllables per second.
brain scanner revealed that in blind people the part of the cerebral cortex that normally responds to vision was responding to speech.…somehow an unsighted person’s brain rewires itself to connect auditory regions of the brain to the visual cortex. [Read more…] about How the Brain of a Blind Person Rewires Itself