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Scientists settle perception debate

Posted on Thursday, 14 April, 2011 | Comment icon 9 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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If a person blind from birth was suddenly able to see would he be able to visually distinguish objects ?

Its a puzzle that was posed over 300 hundred years ago by William Molyneux. Now thanks to modern advances it is possible to restore sight to some people who has been blind from birth, in India patients who underwent eye surgery to restore their vision having never been able to see before were found to be initially unable to distinguish objects but would very quickly develop the ability to do so within the space of a few days,

"The findings, which appear in the April 10 online edition of Nature Neuroscience, suggest that the answer to Molyneux’s question is no."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Realjad on 13 April, 2011, 14:24
This is awesome! But I wish I could see if results would differ if it were adults being tested instead of kids.
Comment icon #2 Posted by StarMountainKid on 13 April, 2011, 17:15
There was neuroscientist on NPR years ago who also had an experience with a blind from birth adult recovering his sight through an operation. The same results as in the link. However, in this case the person often felt uncomfortable with his new eyesight and sometimes longed for the blindness he had been used to. Also, in this same program, a color-blind painter who had painted wonderful paintings in black and greys had his color sight restored. He complained he couldn't paint as he did before, and after a time asked the surgeon if he could reverse the operation. Of course, that was not an... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by Paul Disaster on 13 April, 2011, 17:27
This will open up a whole lot of doors in relation to cognition studies. Very interesting article. Too bad it doesn't state where the results of the test can be viewed.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Swamptick on 14 April, 2011, 12:30
I don't think this surprises most people. I guessed at these findings years ago.
Comment icon #5 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 14 April, 2011, 16:54
Somehow, I can't blame the painter. Whether one is color blind or completely blind, one adjust with the condition. We may see this as a handicap, but for them, it's normal.
Comment icon #6 Posted by UnknownSuperstar on 14 April, 2011, 22:41 that's settled. What's next?.....
Comment icon #7 Posted by dreaming on 18 April, 2011, 22:07
i thought that something like this was done a long time ago?
Comment icon #8 Posted by DONTEATUS on 25 April, 2011, 19:54
We all saw it comeing right?

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