What Happens When Kids Born Blind Gain Sight?04/12/11
TUESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- When children who were
blind from birth were able to see for the first time, they weren't
immediately able to make the connection between what they were
seeing and what they were feeling with their hands, a new study
However, they gained that ability within a few days.
The findings suggest that the brain doesn't have a natural
ability to make a connection between different types of sensory
input but can quickly learn that skill, Pawan Sinha, a professor in
the brain and cognitive sciences department at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, said in an MIT news release.
The study included five children, aged 8 to 17, in India who
were born blind. Four of them had congenital cataracts and one had
corneal opacity. They underwent surgery to correct their eye
The patients' ability to make the connection between what they
were seeing and what they were feeling with their hands was tested
within 48 hours after surgery, shortly after their eye bandages
The study was published in the April 10 online edition of the
The brain appears to learn to make connections between different
types of sensory input by analyzing the timing of each stimulus,
the researchers said. An example would be looking at your cell
phone upon hearing it ring.
"The brain essentially has to look at the time sequence and figure out the correspondence," Sinha said.
The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about
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