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Human 'super-senses' to become a reality


Posted on Monday, 14 October, 2013 | Comment icon 12 comments

Can we gain the superhuman senses of superheroes ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
Mankind no longer needs to rely on evolution to obtain new sensory perceptions and abilities.
Society has long dreamed of possessing superhuman powers like those wielded by the characters we see in comics and movies, abilities that would seem to be rooted firmly in the realms of science fiction. Some scientists however believe that a future in which it will be possible to posses such powers may be a lot nearer than most people think and that research being carried out today could be instrumental in making it happen.

To this end, researchers have been investigating the way in which the brain processes information from our existing senses and whether this could be used to handle new types of inputs. "The brain doesn't care what the peripheral devices are that you plug in, like eyes and ears and nose and mouth," said neuroscientist David Eagleman. "These are plug-and-play peripheral devices and the brain will figure out how to use it."

Theoretically it should be possible to integrate new types of senses in to the brain, providing humans with new perceptions such as the ability to sense magnetic fields, an improved sense of smell, the ability to see in ultra-violet and much more.

Researchers have already identified cases in which individuals robbed of their sight or hearing have been able to compensate for this using devices that can "see" sound or that can use a form of echolocation to see what's ahead even if the person is blind.

"We are no longer a natural species in the sense that we don't have to wait for Mother Nature's sensory gifts on her timescales," said Eagleman. "Nature has given us the tools we need to construct our own experiences."

Source: Live Science | Comments (12)

Tags: Superhuman, Senses

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by mesuma on 14 October, 2013, 22:26
Did you guys miss yeasterdays cockroach story then?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Rolci on 14 October, 2013, 22:53
"new perceptions such as the ability to sense magnetic fields, an improved sense of smell, the ability to see in ultra-violet and much more." Not a little more, or "just" more. MUCH more. First of all I want to see a detailed inventory of that MUCH more. Because it mentioned seeing UV, which is still only seeing, even when you see from radio all the way to gamma. Heightened sense of smell is still just smell, and hearing under 20hz and beyond 20k is still just hearing. One thing that was mentioned was magnetic field. But what is that "much more"?
Comment icon #5 Posted by highdesert50 on 15 October, 2013, 12:55
I tend to disagree with the notion of the brain not caring about input. There is an eon of evolution that argues it does make a difference. Certainly the brain is capable of a degree of reprogramming but much of this is compensatory such as relearning motor control following a stroke. I might argue that we could be doing a lot in developing a heightened awareness of existing functions such as being more cognizant of pheromones, low frequency sound, etc. But, I suspect many of us tend to obviate these "super" functions because of our environments ... who wants to have an enhanced sense of smell... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by ancient astronaut on 16 October, 2013, 16:06
Is being able to see through someones' bull**** a super sense? If so, then I have definitely got that one.
Comment icon #7 Posted by LimeGelatin on 20 October, 2013, 2:18
"We are no longer a natural species in the sense that we don't have to wait for Mother Nature's sensory gifts on her timescales..." This I can believe, but should we wait is the question I propose... Why cash in a bond before it has reached its full maturity? Give mankind an opportunity to mess something up and they will... Maybe 99 out of 100 humans that let a Doc. play with their brain chemistry will end up with powers "like mine (Just J/King)"... But, thinking about being the one who ended up a veggie... Thats enough to make me give in and let GOD!
Comment icon #8 Posted by uuner on 20 October, 2013, 16:36
... who wants to have an enhanced sense of smell or hearing when living in a smog ridden noisy city? That seems kinda backwards somehow, here let me re-phrase it: who wants to have an enhanced sense of smell or hearing when living live in a smog ridden noisy city?
Comment icon #9 Posted by trudoug on 22 October, 2013, 2:09
Is the reason you are trying to improve mankind's senses.. ie sense of smell.. is it because you don't have one? How are you going to improve the sense of smell Pray tell. The surprise of walking into a room and having my nostrils open further is a response that I look forward to doing. Now you're going to sidestep nature's own source and improve on it? Why not add one of your plug and play ideas and leave the senses alone.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Zerocoder on 28 November, 2013, 19:38
Personally, if i had Super powers, i would serve myself and myself only, i mean i wont rob banks. like if i had Super Speed, i would use like 1% of it to beat others in running compitions and win price money, or teleportationg, ok i mighta rob a bank or two.
Comment icon #11 Posted by uuner on 28 November, 2013, 22:28
Dude... supersenses not superpowers
Comment icon #12 Posted by psyche101 on 3 December, 2013, 8:27
I want Mind reading powers! No wait, crap, Invisibility was what I meant......


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