Brain Development and Blindness
Brain changes between the blind and those who can see
Structural difference in the brain in blind patients
Scientists have proven that when one of the areas of the brain is not functioning correctly, the other parts compensate for what that part is lacking (University, 2009). When an individual cannot see their visual regions (the occipital lobe) is smaller than that of a brain without visual issues. The visual regions are not as large as others who have full sight, however those who are blind make up for it in different areas of the brain. The brain is extremely flexible and is able to come back from early blind-ness and still have full recovery (Merabet, 2015). In the brain of someone who is not blind, all parts of the brain are perfect in size and do not try to compensate for a difference sense going down. When someone cannot see, the brain begins to compensate for that loss.
The brain has a great deal of neuroplasty which allows for the blind to be able to see again if other procedures are done (Merabet, 2015). While reading Braille, the individual is still using the visual cortex and expanding the plasticity in it. Even though the individual may be blind, the visual cortex still expands, just as someone who is not blind (Chatterjee, 2015).
- Chatterjee, R., (2015). Feature: Giving blind people sight illuminates the brain’s secrets. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/10/feature-giving-blind-people-sight-illuminates-brain-s-secrets
- Merabet, L., (2015), Neuroplasticity in blindness: what it tells us about the mechanisms of blindness. Retrieved from https://connector.obssr.od.nih.gov/neuroplasticity-in-blindness-what-it-tells-us-about-the-mechanisms-of-blindness/
- Merluzzi, A. (2016). Brain development and neuroplasticity. Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/october-13/brain-development-and-neuroplasticity.html
- University of California - Los Angeles. (2009, November 19). Blindness causes structural brain changes, implying brain can re-organize itself to adapt. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118143259.htm