[Neuroscience] Subjective experience of blinds

polly jo via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by jopower At yahoo.com)
Wed Nov 1 17:27:59 EST 2006

I don't have much experience with subjects; however, I
would imagine that subjective experience would depend
on a lot of variables.... which is why, ofcourse, it
is difficult to study.... the experience would, I
presume, not only depend on the type of blindness, but
also on the past experience/imaginative capabilities/
verbal indiosyncrasies of the subject .... 
However, if i do find any blind subjects willing to
share the experience, I shall post it here.


--- Majid Beshkar <majid.beshkar At yahoo.com> wrote:

> Dear researchers,
>   Several months ago, I asked a man, who had become
> completely blind as a result of eye injury in the
> war, to describe me his subjective visual
> experience. I asked him whether his current
> experience was similar to that of being in complete
> darkness before being injured in the war. He told me
> he had no visual experience at all, neither an
> experience like being in darkness nor any other kind
> of experience.
>   Later I asked the same question from a woman who
> had become temporarily blind while she was pregnant
> and completely recovered after parturition. She
> described her subjective experience during the blind
> period as of being in a very thick fog. She could
> not discriminate anything in that fog even when the
> doctor projected a beam of light directly onto her
> eyes. 
>   The marked differences in the subjective visual
> experience of these two blind cases led me to ask
> whether different blind patients with different
> underlying pathology have different subjective
> experience in visual modality; and, furthermore,
> whether there is a relationship between the cause of
> blindness and the subjective visual experience of
> the blinds.
>   I would be very thankful to anybody who could
> provide me with at least some clues to find the
> answers to these questions.
>   Moreover, if you know any blind person please ask
> him/her to describe his/her subjective visual
> experience and compare that to such experience as
> being in complete darkness, thick fog, etc. it would
> be very helpful to know the underlying pathology 
> too. 
>   Thanks in advance for your answers.
>   Best of luck,
>   Majid Beshkar
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