McMaster University

Demystifying Medicine
Seminar Series

Sensory Compensation: A Myth?

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Have you ever wondered if losing one sense can perhaps enhance another? Certain musical sensations like Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles make it easy to believe that this is true considering both artists have lost their vision. Could it be that their other senses are enhanced as a result of their blindness? Or is this all a myth?

— Video by Muhammad Mateen, Karam Noel, Meena Al Saigh and Michael Romaniuk

References

  • Calvert, G. A. (2001). Crossmodal processing in the human brain: insights from functional neuroimaging studies. Cerebral cortex, 11(12), 1110-1123.
  • Karns, C. M., Dow, M. W., & Neville, H. J. (2012). Altered cross-modal processing in the primary auditory cortex of congenitally deaf adults: a visual-somatosensory fMRI study with a double-flash illusion. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(28), 9626-9638.
  • Merabet, L. B., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2010). Neural reorganization following sensory loss: the opportunity of change. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(1), 44-52.
  • Rabinowitch, I., Laurent, P., Zhao, B., Walker, D., Beets, I., Schoofs, L., … Treinin, M. (2016). Neuropeptide-Driven Cross-Modal Plasticity following Sensory Loss in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Biology, 14(1).
  • Tompa, R. (2016). The plastic fantastic brain: Why losing one sense rewires others? Hutch News. Retrieved March 27, 2017.