Blind Woman Sees Life In Strange And Remarkable Way

By Mick Joest 2014-05-29 23:11:57
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After a stroke at the age of 29, Milena Channing was blind. Her primary visual cortex was all but destroyed, and while she had most all of her other functions, life would prove difficult to adapt to. Shortly after the incident, Channing noticed something odd when giving her daughter a bath. She could see the water running. Could she really have been seeing what she thought she was, or was it just her imagination?

In a remarkable and uncommon case, Channingís brain had rewired to another part that visualizes motion. She could see anything, provided it was moving, or if she was moving, as NPR writes in itís blog. The first case of this happening was documented back in WWI, when a soldier could only see in motion after being shot in the head. Techniques such as shaking their heads, or sitting in a rocking chair allow people like Channing to see again, but differently than before.

At the time of print, Milena is discovering that the part of her brain that distinguishes faces is permanently damaged. Milena can see most of a person now when she employs her newfound techniques, but the face is replaced by a dark shadow that she canít see no matter what. Channing sees it as a curse of sorts, but then remembers she should be lucky to have the sight she has.

This is not to be confused with blindsight, which is another phenomena teaching us more about the human body than we knew before. Blindsightís name is deceiving as it has nothing to do with sight, but actually the phenomena where people who are blind can detect change in a room theyíve visited without conscious awareness of it. This tells researchers that human behavior can be affected whether the individual is aware of something or not. This could explain that sixth sense feeling people get before something goes wrong, or when you sense something is amiss but canít put your finger on it. Research hasnít officially shown if this phenomena is only present in the blind, however, so it's unknown if this is specifically an enhanced feature of the brain made superior in the lack of vision.
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