Thursday, October 14, 2010

Deaf cats unlock mystery

Stephen Lomber said his research team at the University of Western Ontario has figured out how and why deaf cats see so much better than those that can hear.

When parts of the brain that control hearing don’t work, the brain reorganizes itself so some sight functions — specifically in peripheral vision and ­movement — fill that same space, said Lomber, an associate professor at UWO’s Centre for Brain and Mind.

“It’s more related to survival,” he said: the ability to dodge predators and seek prey. “If there was some large, menacing thing — like a cat or a dog — they can’t hear them, so they can see them.”

The research, published in Nature Neuroscience, offers valuable clues to the plasticity of human brains, especially for people born deaf who report having better vision than their hearing friends.

Read the full article here

No comments:

Post a Comment