[nabs] FW: [acb-l] From the Zeigler Magazine - A Pat On The Back For The Blind
yvonne625 at verizon.net
Wed Dec 22 01:19:51 GMT 2010
I thought this was interesting and wanted to make sure NABS members also got
a chance to read it.
Feature Writer Alena Roberts - Another Super Power of the Blind Brain
Have you ever wondered why your sighted peers can't understand what your
screen reader is saying? Well now science has figured it out. Like many
other changes that our brains make when one sense stops working,
research has now discovered how the blind are able to listen to speech
at a rate that most people consider incomprehensible.
Scientists in Germany studied this ability by having a blind person
listening to synthesized speech, which can be increased to a faster
speed than humans can talk, lay in a Functional Magnetic Imaging machine
or FMRI. What they found was that a part of the brain previously only
thought to be used to perceive light was being used in the blind
participants to understand speech at an extremely high rate. This is
just another demonstration of how the visual cortex in the brain of a
blind person ends up being used for non-visual tasks.
I know when I started using screen readers and audio books as my primary
ways of reading, I had to speed up the rate in order for me not to
become bored. I felt like I needed to listen to something at the rate
that I was able to read with my eyes. This experience was really
interesting, especially when book readers weren't able to speed up the
rate without turning the reader into a chipmunk.
So the next time a sighted person asks you how you can possibly
understand what your computer, cell phone, or book reader is saying,
just tell them that it's just one of your many super powers.
To read the full article about this fascinating research, visit this
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