BLIND people’s brains rewire themselves to track moving objects just like the Marvel hero Daredevil, a startling study claims.
In a world first, scientists have shown how changes in the brain explain enhancements to other senses for the visually impaired.
© Marvel Enterprises / New Regency Pictures Marvel hero Daredevil uses his bat-like super senses to detect moving objects
The new report claims some are even able to train themselves to use clicks as a type of echolocation to detect obstacles like bats and some birds do.
Experts from the University of Oxford and a number of American universities monitored those who were blind when born or lost their sight when very young.
They discovered their increased abilities may be down to them being able to detect variations in frequency, reports the Independent.
“For a sighted person, having an accurate representation of sound isn’t as important because they have sight to help them recognise objects, while blind individuals only have auditory information,” said study author Kelly Chang, of the University of Washington.
“This gives us an idea of what changes in the brain explain why blind people are better at picking out and identifying sounds in the environment.”
One study – published in the Journal of Neuroscience – used MRI scans to check the brain activity of blind subjects to see how they reacted to changes in frequency.
Professor Ione Fine, a psychologist at the University of Washington, said this was the first study to show these changes in the auditory cortex – the part of the brain that processes sound.
MADDIE HOPE Madeleine McCann case could be solved in just ‘ONE week thanks to vital DNA’ LatestFLEEING INTO DANGER Brit brother & sister fled one bomb blast only to be killed by second BANK HOL BUST-UP Lad strips off and dives into river before he’s battered by bouncers CLIFF HANGER Man holds boy dangerously close to edge of 400ft Seven Sisters cliffs PRINCE CHARMING Prince Louis looks adorable in new pics shot by mum Kate for 1st birthday RUNNING RIOT Gangs armed with huge machetes and bottles fight running battles in Hyde Park
She said: “This is important because this is an area of the brain that receives very similar auditory information in blind and sighted individuals.
“But in blind individuals, more information needs to be extracted from sound – and this region seems to develop enhanced capacities as a result.
“This provides an elegant example of how the development of abilities within infant brains is influenced by the environment they grow up in.”
Alamy Experts monitored those who were blind when born or lost their sight when very young
Blind 7-year-old Avett Ray hailed as a prodigy after teaching himself how to play piano