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