Those born deaf might feel the world differently than the rest of us. I’m not talking some sort of touchy-feely garbage about emotions, I mean literally: their sense of touch is processed differently in the brain.
Specifically, the auditory portions of the brain are used to process other senses, primarily vision and touch. In fact, the two senses may have a close interplay with the deaf.
Apparently, the brain simply rewires itself once it becomes clear the ears aren’t in use. MRIs showed that tactile and visual stimuli were processed partially by the auditory cortex. The next step is to determine whether, say, those born blind experience similar improvements, and then to stop making Helen Keller jokes since they could possibly beat us up now.
This could lead to better teaching methods for deaf students, better cochlear implants, and also a new nemesis for Daredevil. Really, science doesn’t get better than this.
image courtesy Dan Taylor on Flickr