Daredevil was actually a pretty cool, legit
comic book, until the Affleck Attack happened. But the idea of blindness enhancing other
senses is just fiction… isn’t it? Hey gang, Trace here for DNews! Thanks for
tuning in. There’s a common thing in superhero and fantasy
media… if one sense is lost, the others get better to compensate. Do senses really
DO that? The research says yes! The brain is a glutton for input, so if you restrict
the input channels it freaks out. Sensory deprivation tanks are this in a nutshell.
Research from the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease found, when people were placed in
a sensory deprivation room, the brain couldn’t tell if the thoughts and images it was creating
were inside the head, or outside the body. When deprived of input the volunteers would
experience visual hallucinations, paranoia and a depressed mood — all this, with less
than 15 MINUTES of loss of input. So, if that’s what happens with ALL the senses
dulled, what about with just one? Studies HAVE shown blind people experience a higher
sound placement ability, and increased sense of touch. This has to do with the brain literally
REFORMING to take resources from the missing sense. A study in the Journal of Neuroscience
used fMRIs to scan the brains of people who were born deaf. They found their senses of
sight and touch were altered… and they found a boost in the understanding bimodal stimuli.
Bimodal stimuli boosts are commonly seen in those who are bilingual — they have a lot
more crosstalk between their senses. This means people born deaf SEE the world differently
than a fully sensed person! Now, knowing ALL that — does someone who
BECOMES blind gain sense-power? A study that came out last week says FOR SHIZZLE. Researched
published in the journal Neuron found when fully sensed mice had blindness simulated
for as little as one week — their hearing was boosted. The researchers said this has
to do with how the senses work together. Kind of like in a movie, if what you’re seeing
doesn’t match what you’re hearing — you’d get messed up. Your vision is supremely tied
to what you’re hearing. Their experiments found sight helps us hear softer sounds, and
have better pitch! Because of that, your sight can help work with your hearing to help discern
talking or familiar music in a loud environment. If you take what you’re seeing AWAY however,
your hearing has to do it alone — and it flips switches in your brain called thalamocortical
inputs. This lets the auditory information borrow some of the processing power of the
visual center. It seems to me this is kind of like Daredevil’s power! He’s using his
VISUAL center to understand the perceived SOUND. This has been documented in others
too, people who are blind yet can navigate an unfamiliar room, and even ride a bike. The switches they’re talking about, are normally
not used in adults — but in a week of blindness? BAM. Switched. Very cool. They also found
when they removed the blindness, the switches went back to normal — so it’s reversible.
Super cool. Would you go blind for a week, for science?
Think of all the things you could hear!! Come tell us down below, we read the comments and
love to chat. Thanks for watching DNews, hear you later!