What does a blind person see? Your first guess might be that she sees a vast blackness…The answer, of course, is nothing.
Blind people might not have perceptually driven visual imagery, but they use their other senses to encode spatial relationships. For example, suppose you take off your high heels under the table at a restaurant. When it’s time to get up, you might feel around with your feet for them, right them, and put them on, all without use of your eyes. You are able to do this because you are encoding spatial information with your haptic system, or sense of touch. The blind, too, use their other senses, such as hearing and touch, to form representations of the world.
This shows that the sensations (information delivered by organs like our eyes) can be distinct from perceptions (ideas about sensations formed by our brains)… You can get a sense of distance of something from your eyes, ears, hands, and even your nose. All of these senses can map to spatial information that is usually thought of as visual.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What Do Blind People Actually See?
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