More evidence of brain plasticity: Some blind people are able to use echolocation to perceive space and objects around them in surprising detail, even though the time differences in echoes necessary to do this are two small to be consciously perceived. An fMRI study by Lore Thaler, Stephen Arnott and Melvyn Goodale revealed that people who are especially adept at this use their calcarine cortex (a.k.a. V1 or primary visual cortex) to process spatial information from the echoes. The original paper. A shorter discussion. (Previously)
Mad skillz with simple things: balancing sticks |Ouka - Ringarts | blind people seeing with echolocation | Rajnikanth at the pick-up counter | cat at a shell game.
"Even beyond the philosophical wonder of passively sampling our outside environment in a shared, meaningful fashion is the ridiculous sensitivity of our senses." [more inside]
Winthop Kellogg was a psychologist in the early and mid-20th century who studied echolocation in animals and people. He is most notorious, however, for an experiment in which he raised an infant chimpanzee named Gua alongside his own baby son Harold. They seemed to get along pretty well (.mov).
Echolocation : bats use it. So do whales and dolphins. And humans? The 14-year-old profiled here and here is using it. Learn more about how blind people are employing perception and processing of the auditory environment: where words like flash and tags have an altogether different meaning.