Brain Rewires In Blind People To Enhance Other Senses.

In Brain Science, Memory and Learning, Senses and Perception by Brainy Days Ahead

The brain of someone born blind rewires to make new connections that result in enhanced abilities like heightened sense of hearing, smell, touch, memory and language. In a new study, researchers at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts used MRI brain imaging techniques observe changes in a group of 12 subjects with early blindness (those either born blind or who became blind prior to the age of three). The researchers compared the scans to a group of 16 normally sighted subjects. On the scans of those with early blindness, the team observed structural and functional connectivity changes in areas of the brain that they did not observe in the normally sighted group, suggesting that the brain “rewires” itself in the absence of visual information to boost other senses. It is the process of neuroplasticity, or the ability of our brains to naturally adapt to our experiences, that makes this possible. The researchers hope that these observations will lead to more effective rehabilitation that enables blind individuals to better compensate for the absence of visual information.