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