We take a lot of what we do in a day for granted. Whether it be something as simple as talking to another person right through to walking to work or the park. For another whole segment of our society though those simple things can be the most challenging. However the human mind and body is an incredible thing that constantly surprises us at how it can adapt.
Such is the case of blindsight – which is the ability of some blind people to sense things that they cannot see. A prime example of this ability is being studied by scientists with the help of a totally blind man only known as TN. Along with his ability to navigate obstacle courses without a single misstep he also has the uncanny ability to detect facial expressions that he can’t see.
To test the man’s blindsight the scientists constructed an obstacle course made up of boxes and chairs arranged in a random pattern. Not only did TN navigate the course he did so without bumping into a single box or chair.
Professor Beatrice de Gelder, from the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands, who led the study, said: “This is absolutely the first study of this ability in humans.
“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 evolutionary ancient visual paths. “They contribute more than we think they do for us to function in the real world.”
Experts believe that blindsight trades on our subconscious ability to recognise things we cannot see.
Kinda reminds me of a certain comic character eh? Below is a video of TN in action