Politics Magazine


Posted on the 01 November 2013 by Adask

Neuroplasticity” is the theory that the brain is not “fixed” and “hard-wired” early in life, but can be rewired so long as we live.  You can not only teach an old dog new tricks, you can teach the “dog” (actually a man or woman) to rewire his own brain to “see” with its tongue and achieve balance with its eyes rather than inner ears.  ”Old dogs” like myself find this concept amazing.

The theory of neuroplasticity was proposed in the 1900s, but wasn’t taken seriously.

Paul Bach-y-Rita (1934-2006) was an American neuroscientist and one of the first to seriously study neuroplasticity and to introduce sensory substitution as a tool to treat patients suffering from neurological disorders.  By means of sensory substitution, the brain can be “re-wired” to allow the blind to to “see” with the skin on their backs.  People who’ve suffered damage to their inner ear and thereby lost their sense of balance can be trained to “re-balance” using their tongues.

It sounds crazy, but it is, instead, amazing.

video   00:10:39

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