Monday, October 11, 2010

Deafness Enhances Sight

A new study of cats may explain why some deaf people have great vision. University of Western Ontario researchers found parts of the cats' brain normally dedicated to a lost sense can be used to strengthen another sense. Since cat brains are organized much like human brains, the results may mirror what happens in the brain of a deaf person. Rather than showing better overall vision, the cats showed improved peripheral vision and the motion of objects at very slow rates. Details of the study led by Stephen Lomber are in the journal Nature Neuroscience. He next wants to find out if these benifits hold true whether one is deaf from birth or if she loses her hearing later in life.