Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Seeing with Sound

Imagine being blind for 25 years, and suddenly being able to see again - using your ears. It sounds impossible, but that's exactly what happened to Pat Fletcher. For the past few years, she's been experimenting with a revolutionary new technology that allows her to see through sound. Using a simple computer program that she downloaded from the Internet, called "The vOICe", which translates visual images into soundscapes, Pat's brain is able to translate those sounds back into images.

Toronto science journalist Alison Motluk spent a day with Pat Fletcher at her home in Buffalo, New York. She plugged her recorder into Pat's computer, so we can hear what Pat hears. She also spoke with Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a neurologist at Harvard University, who believes that brain cells have the latent ability to process information from a variety of senses. That means the brain can translate input from one sense into another.

Alison's documentary is called, "See, If You Can Hear This."

Mp3 of the documentary is available on the other side of the link. Long and short: camera picks up visuals, converts them into sound, sound is piped to her ears and - get this - her visual cortex translates the sounds into images!


Here's what I don't get: is it that mainstream media just doesn't care or that they're just aggressively ignoring the future - hell, the present?


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