Although the findings of this study are almost universally known, there are no scientific studies to explain its mechanism. A research team at the University of Seattle has found that certain parts of the brain adapt to compensate for the lack of vision by enhancing hearing.
The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (magnetic resonance imaging) to examine certain brain changes in the brains of people with visual impairments.
Instead of exploring areas of the brain that are more active while listening to different sounds, researchers investigated the brain’s sensitivity to the simple differences in hearing frequencies and the ability of the visually impaired to capture them, compared with those with visual acuity.
The researchers found that the auditory cerebral cortex in the blind was more able to capture minor differences in sound frequencies, due to the need for the blind to extract as much information from the voices they hear, forcing the cortex to adapt to that need. On the other hand, hearing loss at an early age may refer brain regions responsible for vision to areas of sound analysis.
The findings were published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The paper can be found at: