Have you ever been in a completely dark space? If not try it, go into a closet and close the door. What do you feel? What do you hear? Do you smell anything? Can you touch anything? Do you notice anything different? Take a second and pay attention to each of these. The longer you stay in this space the more you may realize your senses become heightened. This experience gives you the tiniest glimpse of life as a blind person.
When you lose your sense of sight your body does everything it can, to compensate for that. According to https://www.livescience.com "there is tremendous potential for the brain to adapt.” For example, the portions of your brain that are associated with hearing, touch, and smell become more sensitive to stimulus when you are blind. There's evidence through MRI technology that the brains of blind people will rewire themselves to allow for the other senses to work more acutely. In an article by the Smithsonian, they state that “the brains of blind people appeared to be wired differently when it came to things like structure and connectivity.” The area of your brain called hMT+ is responsible for tracking moving visual objects. In blind people the hMT+ tracks auditory objects such as moving cars or people.
Have you ever happened to notice a blind person crossing the street, or doing a day to day activity? Take a second to notice their movements and actions? Do you notice them tilting their head? Or maybe using their hands? This is an example of the hMT+ region of the brain working efficiently. The heightened activity allows for these other senses to kick in. The is the human body working at it's best.
Story By Talula Perry