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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:42 pm 
Skull and Bones Flunkie

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:06 am
Posts: 266
While I look at this from a "science" perspective, I'm posting this here with a much more speculative intention in mind... What applicability, relevancy, etc. (or the lack of) could this have in regards to psychic / psi phenomena? You know, given the whole inherent "seeing without seeing" thing...


Blind man amazes scientists with his ability to detect objects he cannot see
Ian Sample
Dec. 23, 2008 ... uroscience

A man who was left completely blind by a series of strokes has delighted scientists by negotiating a maze of obstacles without using his cane.

The man, known only as TN, walked around chairs and boxes without knocking into them in an extraordinary demonstration of "blindsight", a strange ability some blind people have to detect objects they cannot see.

Scans of the man's brain revealed that a succession of strokes had left him unable to see, while brain regions known to process visual information were completely inactive.

Nevertheless, the man is able to react to facial expressions, registering emotions such as joy and anger.

Scientists at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands believe people with blindsight are unwittingly tapping into alternative brain circuitry that lets them process information their eyes are receiving.

In the experiment, scientists created an obstacle course from boxes and chairs and asked the man to negotiate it without his stick or help from another person. When he completed the course without bumping into anything, onlookers applauded in amazement.

"This is absolutely the first study of this ability in humans," said Beatrice de Gelder, who led the study, which appears in the journal Current Biology. "We see what humans can do, even with no awareness of seeing or any intentional avoidance of obstacles. It shows us the importance of these evolutionarily ancient visual paths. They contribute more than we think they do for us to function in the real world."

Scientists have seen blindsight in monkeys with similar brain damage.

The study reveals that untapped neural pathways exist in the brain that allow people to orient themselves and quickly detect obstacles, even if they are not conscious of seeing them. "All the time, we are using hidden resources of our brain and doing things we think we are unable to do," said de Gelder. "There is much that patients can do outside the grip of their being too aware of what they cannot do," she added.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:23 am 
CFR Fat Cat

Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:46 pm
Posts: 428
Location: New York City
How many times does this have to be rediscovered? Look at the work of Dr Donald Griffin back in the 1950's on human echolocation. There was even a video above a blind kid who could do this about a year ago. The human brain can obviously set up spatial maps of the surroundings using whatever information is available.

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known" - Carl Sagan

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