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Physiological Adaptations to Blindness: Current Review of How Human Senses Are Impacted Upon the Onset of Blindness

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The goal of this paper is to describe the current understanding of how a human’s remaining senses are affected by the onset of blindness through physiological adaptations. The main focuses

The goal of this paper is to describe the current understanding of how a human’s remaining senses are affected by the onset of blindness through physiological adaptations. The main focuses of this paper stem around the brain and how it adapts to blindness through mechanisms such as neuroplasticity. This paper will explore the increased acuity of both tactile and auditory processing as well as spatial navigation resulting from the onset of blindness. This paper will also explore the enhanced ability of the blind to echolocate as well as the mechanisms of homeostasis that underlie this ability. Finally, this paper will report on the lack of enhancement for the senses of taste and smell in humans after the onset of blindness and possible reasons why there are no observed increases in potential. It is the hope of the writers that this paper will cover the current state of knowledge on the phenomenon of adaptations resulting from the onset of blindness to such an extent that this information can be presented in a podcast format later on.

Disclaimer: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the final outcomes of this project were impacted and limited. Therefore, the rough draft practice podcast session has been uploaded to accompany the written thesis portion as final recordings could not be recorded at this time.

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  • 2020-05

Human Physiological Adaptations to Starvation and Caloric Restriction

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Throughout history humans have had to adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. Food shortages are one of the major pressures that have shaped past populations. Because of

Throughout history humans have had to adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. Food shortages are one of the major pressures that have shaped past populations. Because of this, the human body has many physiological adaptations that allow it to go extended periods of time consuming little to no food. These adaptations also allow the body to recover quickly once food becomes available. They include changes in metabolism that allow different fuel sources to be used for energy, the storing of excess energy absorbed from food in the forms of glycogen and fat to be used in between meals, and a reduction in the basal metabolic rate in response to starvation, as well as physiological changes in the small intestines. Even in places where starvation is not a concern today, these adaptations are still important as they also have an effect on weight gain and dieting in addition to promoting survival when the body is in a starved state.

Disclaimer: The initial goal of this project was to present this information as a podcast episode as a part of a series aimed at teaching the general public about human physiological adaptations. Due to the circumstances with COVID-19 we were unable to meet to make a final recording of the podcast episode. A recording of a practice session recorded earlier in the year has been uploaded instead and is therefore only a rough draft.

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  • 2020-05