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vision in blind people?

Jacob Galley gal2 at kimbark.uchicago.edu
Fri Jul 21 13:03:43 EST 1995


swallow at netaxs.com (Don Jose) writes:
>
>A friend recently asked me about blind people, and how they dream.  I've 
>read about people who have lost their vision, but I'm wondering if in a 
>person who is born blind, there are any visual perceptions in the 
>conventional sense.  Could anybody here point me to a book that might 
>help? 

A classic of Gestalt psychology comes to mind: von Senden's _Space and
Sight_, originally published in the 1930s, I think.  This is a study
of congenitally blind people whose blindness had been cured later in
life through surgery.  Their visual systems were essentially
undeveloped.  At first they could not identify shapes, and had to
learn the meaning of primitive visual phenomena from scratch.  Their
spatial cognition had developed upon their senses of hearing and touch
only, and when they were given sight it had to be integrated into the
system to be of any use.  I think that some of his subjects actually
preferred to go blindfolded because the "extra" information provided
by the newfound sense was too disturbing.

The book has nothing to do with dreams, but you might be interested.

Jake.

-- 
The artificial sundering of res cogitans and res extensa is the heritage of
dualism, with the extrusion between them of LIFE---this double-faced ontology
of death creates problems which it has rendered unsolvable from the start.
								<-- Hans Jonas



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