Geronimo models her peek-proof blindfold
at Beth Israel Hospital's Clinical Research Center in Boston
provides one of the clearest demonstrations yet of the brain's
ability to change. He and colleagues at the National Institutes
of Health have shown that, remarkably, the visual cortex processes
the sense of touch in people born blind. In "The Sight of
Touch," Pascual-Leone wonders if sighted people's brains can
re-wire themselves the same way.
Geronimo is among the many sighted people who volunteer to
wear a blindfold for 100 hours straight while studying Braille.
Which part of her brain handles the new information?
lends Michelle some moral support
find out, a magnetic shock momentarily confuses Michelle's
visual cortex. Comparing her Braille abilities before and
after the stimulation confirms Pascual-Leone's hypothesis;
the visual cortex indeed pitches in to help process the information
now coming in through Michelle's fingertips. Her brain has
re-wired itself in just five days. Happily, once the blindfold
is removed, her brain quickly reverts to
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