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Blind man shocks scientists with what he sees

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posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 02:33 PM
Very interesting account of how one person's complete damage to both visual cortexes through strokes still enabled him to see through subconscious experience and even sucessfully navigate a maze.

Patient TN was, by his own account, completely blind. Two consecutive strokes had destroyed the visual cortex of his brain, and consequently, his ability to see.

His first stroke had injured only one hemisphere of his visual cortex. About five weeks later, a second stroke damaged the other hemisphere. An assessment of his brain function revealed that after two strokes, TN, in his 50s, was clinically blind.

Known as selective bilateral occipital damage, TN's unusual injury made him the subject of much interest while recovering at a hospital in Geneva. Researchers began examining him and discovered that despite his blindness, he had maintained the ability to detect emotion on a person's face. He responded appropriately — with emotions such as joy, fear, and anger — to a variety of facial expressions. Observed activity in his amygdala — the part of the brain responsible for processing emotions — confirmed the curious results....(continued at link + video)

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 02:39 PM
Kind of makes you wonder what is meant by the expression "the mind's eye"?

I have stood in total blackness (caves) where you couldn't see your hand in front of your face and after a while you develop a sort of sense of what's around you. Nothing to the degree of sensing facing expressions but still a curious sensation.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 02:43 PM
I think this demonstrates how much the matrix we are living in is mere illusion and that metaphysically there is a mucher more real connection. Not the brain, but the mind, not the body, but the soul body, not the world, but the multiverse and beyond.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 02:46 PM
That's pretty darn amazing if you ask me. Just goes to show you how well our bodies are adapted to this 3rd dimension situation were in. But i can see why it works, the eyes still function, collect information and sent it to the brain, but the brain is un-able to send it off for processing, or to the concious side of you.

I wonder what other kinds of abilities would come to light if other parts of the brain were damaged? Such as the ears?

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 03:06 PM
This sort of thing has happened before. What they have found is that the primitive side of the brain kicks in, you go back to basic function. Nothing spectacular here, just the brain rerouting itself to make things work.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 03:14 PM
OK, lets correct something that people seem to be misunderstanding. The mans eyes still work, but the visual processing center in his brain was damaged due to two strokes. His eyes still pick up light and transmit it to his brain, but that part of his brain is no longer working properly.

We know that the Brain is quite capable of reorganizing itself when injured. Many people have relearned how to walk and talk after strokes and other accidents have damaged their brains. Wile amazing, this is more of the same.

As for recognizing facial emotions, this is one of the very first things we learn as infants, the face and it's emotional signals. It would seem logical that this would be the first thing his brain recovers.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 04:18 PM
i wonder if he was picking up on a person's "vibe".
some people can project positive or negative feelings.
like how you can feel someone is staring intently at you but, you're not in a direct line of sight with the person.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 04:28 PM
I wish people would read the OPening Link to the story.

The mans eyes work fine, but his brain does not process the information in a normal manner. He sees, but in an unconscious manner. His eyes transmit the information to his brain, but he is consciously unaware of what they are seeing. Other parts of his brain interpret that data and allow him to recognize facial emotions and even avoid objects. Even if his conscious mind only sees blackness, his subconscious mind is able to use the information.

There is no "feeling of the force" or other mumbo jumbo. He is simply not connected to the regular part of his brain that interprets visual signals, thus his conscious mind only sees blackness.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 04:32 PM
reply to post by Terapin

exactly right, lets see if he can still do this seeing in a blindfold.

the visual cortex isn't even he only part of the brain which gets data from he eyes either, its only he bit which draws images for your frontal lobe.

i hate stories like this, they go off into wild speculation without first assuming the most rational answers.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 04:32 PM
Terrapin's right on the mark.

It's as though a portion of a highway was covered up by lava (this happens in Hawaii all the time) and they built another road around it that goes to the same place.

The brain can rewire for many things -- redundant systems.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 05:53 PM
Sight/vision in itself is miraculous. More amazing still is the ability of the human mind/body to recognize a problem and fix itself by whatever means possible.

Just because the man was able to "reroute" certain neural pathways in the brain in order to regain his sight (to a degree) doesn't make the phenomenon any less spectacular or miraculous.

A little respect, people, if you please.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 06:44 PM
reply to post by whitewave

If you had read my initial post, you would have seen that I did say that it was indeed amazing. It is not however miraculous. His brain is just doing its job and trying to compensate for technical errors within the neural network.

Think of it this way, you have on a blindfold and a friend is guiding you around. Telling you what he sees and what people are doing. You cant see it, but you can understand it. This is what his brain is doing. He can not visually see what is before him, but his unconscious mind sees it and is giving him certain information that he can use. It is just like someone using a different part of their brain to relearn how to walk. Only this sounds much cooler as it is something we have not been able to study previously.

Miraculous would be if he suddenly had X-Ray eyes, or laser beam eyes. When people started talking about mysterious "vibes" and the matrix of illusion, they were getting away from reality and that is why I chose to clear things up. Science is cool enough all by itself.

[edit on 27/1/09 by Terapin]

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 06:53 PM
The eyes still see, the part of the brain they credit for vision is wiped.

So the eyes are providing signals to some other part of the brain which interprets the information.

It's not a miracle, it's doctors finding out how ignorant they still are about how humans are wired.

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 12:30 PM
reply to post by Terapin

Good point I should have pointed out that although the man's cortexes do not work and he cannot see,his eyes are still operational and are processing information through the amygdala region of his brain.
He has been diagnosed as clinicaly blind but his eyes still work on a subconscious level -in other words its not miraculous.

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