Eyeless Emotions

According to the Epoch Times blind people can “see” emotions.  Ongoing research has discovered that blindsighted  individuals can not only respond to emotional cues on other people’s faces but can also navigate around objects.

These individuals are dubbed “blindsighted” people because their blindness was brought on by some kind of trauma such as a stroke or a head injury.  Their eyes are actually physically functional.  It is their brain’s reception of images that doesn’t function properly.

Beatrice de Gelder, a neuroscientist at Holland’s Tilburg University says, “Blindsighted people feel they are totally blind. ”

Before this study, it was believed a person with normal eyesight synchronized their facial expressions with others through an automatic response to visual cues.  However, this assumption is now in question.

The “blindsighted” participants in the study  imitated the faces that were loaded with emotion even though they could not see them.

de Gelder commented, “…we don’t have a clear view yet about the abilities of the brain.”   The neuroscientist went on to note in an interview that cortical vision tends to overwhelm a person’s perception, but the activity of other background pathways can be detected in blindsighted people.  These mental pathways allow a person to sense emotion rather then see them.

Take a look at de Gelder’s interview in season two of Through the Wormhole, which aired on July 6, 2011 for more intriguing information on the mysteries of existence.

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