Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Blind Man who can see - extra credit

Click on the following link and watch the video and listen to the story of "TN."
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98590831

While we have had almost no discussion about our fascinating brain in class, give some comments on this intriguing and curious story.

Post by January 5 for the extra credit!

16 comments:

Horseshoe804 said...

This is the coolest thing that I've seen. A blind man who can 'see' obstacles!? I've heard a while ago, and I don't know if it's true, but blind people have a sense that lets them be able to know where things or people are. That might have applied to some sort of communication going on, I cant remember, but they know whats going on around them kinda. I also noticed that when he was passing the objects, his feet were turned to the object, assuming that his entire body was also facing the object. Was his brain sending waves from the object to his brain to asses how large and wide the object is? Once he got halfway of passing the object, his attention turned to the next object. I thought that was cool.

I think this is a really cool video and I want to learn how the brain let this blind man see where he was going. At the end, when asked about why he didn't walk in a straight line and the answer was 'I didn't?' why wouldn't he know if he walked in a straight line? Did he just let his brain do the work and him not pay attention? I don't know how to word it...but it was a very cool video.

~Nunes
P.S. Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays ! (what ever works) :)

lovejonas91 said...

Hmmm...Wow....
Well, when I watched the 46 second video I was pretty amazed. This blind man did not hit NAY one of the obstacles. This is amazing. But I am confused. Can he see? I thought he was blind?!?!?

When I listened to the audio clip, I thought it was interesting how this man was blind but he can see with his eyes. Kind of contradictive?

It was interesting how he could "somewhat" see.

What caused this man not to walk straight? He has no sight at all. I don't get it. And he was not aware that he did not walk in a straight line.

So it is "unconscious seeing"...

Wow.... this is really interesting. I wonder how this blind man does this...

I wish I knew more about the brain and how it functioned. I find it interesting even how blind people can do what they do on a daily basis.

At my work, when I am working at the cash register, I get this same weekly customer. She is blind and her eyes are closed. She comes in with another lady who helps her. The blind lady, when it comes time for her to pay for her groceries, she knows exactly how much money tot take out from her purse. And it is not like she has it all set out. She has to go in to her wallet and pull out the designated bills. She ALWAYS gets the money right. If her bill is $42.37, she gives me $42.37. I think it is so interesting how she can do this.

~Natalie D., period 1

Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katherine said...

I love reading about oxymorons and peculiar cases such as this one. Before watching the video, I read the article to get a better understanding. To me, this is a breakthrough in the study of blindness and the brain. The idea that this could teach us more about the nature of consciousness is additionally very interesting. I've always thought that each part of the brain is essential in its own way, but this case proposes the idea that maybe this isn't true. Discovering what parts of the brain are and are not necessary is a catalyst for discovering more about consciousness. I'd love to learn more about TN and this phenonenma in general. It interests me a lot.

- Katherine Gannon

Marissa Mardo said...

This story is pretty mind blowing! It is mentioned a number of times that TN is "totally blind", so how could he possibly see the obstacles that were placed before him? Also, how was he not aware that he didn't walk in a straight line when he was the one controlling and moving his feet? With some blind people you might think they use their senses to smell or hear what is close to them, but this was not the case.

TN's situation seems very contradictive because as the video showed, he is aware of what is around him, but he says he can't see and is "totally blind." Another crazy and interesting story discovered by Mr. Yip.
-Marissa

MLRoxYourSox said...

Well this was fascinating...I have no idea how the brain does it but this guy is lucky. Can other blind people do this too or just him? and I dont understand how he didn't know he wasn't walking in a straight line...very strange but cool at the same time. I would like to learn a lot more about this...it's very interesting. Maybe this is like a radar type thing...ya kno? Well I definately liked watchin this.

-Michaela L.

yipf said...

Thought you might be interested in what Nate McCoart had to say about this article:

Oddly enough, this makes complete sense to me. After thinking about this phenomenon, I see something different. When we traditionally think of sight, we think of you see something, that vision is processed to the brain and that’s it. However, we really have two types of sight, the conscious and unconscious, just like the type types of thoughts. When you see something, that sight is processed by the brain as a conscious image. But when you look at something, your brain also takes this image to be processed by the "unconscious" brain also. This is why we sometimes see things after events occur. The idea of remembrance or seeing something at a later time than when you initially saw it. It something very interesting to think about and in my eyes, a very valid theory. It links itself hand in hand to the conscious and unconscious thought that we talked about it psych earlier. Maybe all of our senses have both a conscious and unconscious side?

Michael said...

i found this storyy pretty interesting i new before that one someone loses a sense other senses become stronger in place of the others. i belive this is what also occured in "tn" brain which enabled him, to have kean senses. i find it amazing that he brain almost switched amidiatly to stregthen his other sense.

`michael amaral

Mike D'Amore said...

That is just COOL, the fact that he wasn't even aware that he hadn't walked in a straight line was amazing, i think more research needs to be done on the primiive sight parts of our brains, perhaps after enought research we can discover a way to bring thoose parts of our brain back to consious thought, returning sight to some of the blind and maybe imporving the vision of those who can see.
the potential of the human brain is almost endless because we really know so little about it,

Ben Pickering said...

Dear Yall,
This was definately something really cool and interesting to watch. The most fascinating part for me was not all could the guy avoid all the objects, but he didn't realize that he wasn't walking in a straight line. This shows that some unknown sense in the brain took over and helped make sure that he avoided the objects. This shows that although he could not see, he was able to avoid the objects, thus he in a sense he could "see". This is a remarkable story and I think mor research should go into it that would possibly help out other blind people and make it so they can move and get around easier.
Love, Yours Truly,
B. Miguel P.

Chris said...

This is really interesting. When I saw that video, I couldn't believe how he was able to get pass all that stuff, without even getting an inch near it! That's incredible. It's interesting how when one thing form you is gone, everything else just takes over.

mishy91 said...

I know that blind people develope stronger hearing than a person who still has their sight. I can really see this happenging to more and more people as time goes on. I think this really displays that we humans are still evolving and I'm postitive that even more amazing people will these abilities will continue to pop up around the world.

-Michelle ;)

Matt said...

hey mr. yip!

McCall Theriault said...

I have to admit that this was really cool and I think that it would be really amazing if I was able to turn one of my dissablities into an ability!

I have also heard, like Horsehoe804 that people can train their inabilities but I have never seen it done!

The bit about the unconsious seeing really kind of through me however this man is really different and think that now that we know it can be done, we should help more people and try and train other disabilites!!

Matt L said...

I thought it was absolutely amazing to listen to this story. The idea of a blind man being able to "see" is very cool. This shows how our brain is extremely complex and what we know about it and how it works is very small. Someday we might even be able to use this phenomena to give vision back to the blind. This article was definately facinating.

Mike D'Amore said...

mr yip, it was fun having you, and it was a fun class, have a nice semester, see you around