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Blind People Use Visual Cortex To Heighten Senses Of Touch, Hearing.

HealthDay (10/6, Preidt) reported, “Blind people use the visual part of their brain to heighten their senses of touch and hearing,” according to a study published in the Oct. 6 issue of the journal Neuron. In the study, “researchers used functional MRI to observe brain activity in 12 people who were blind from birth and 12 sighted people as they performed a set of tasks involving hearing and feeling.” The investigators found that “the visual cortex in the blind takes on these functions and processes sound and tactile information, which it doesn’t do in the sighted. The neural cells and fibers are still there and still functioning, processing spatial attributes of stimuli, driven not by sight but by hearing and touch,” the study’s lead author explained.