jeudi 13 août 2009

Teaching the blind to see through sound

A new soundscape language has been created by an Israeli researcher that allows blind people to 'see' objects, in much the same way a bat does. Sounds can delight the ears and the soul, but according to Israeli researcher Dr. Amir Amedi, sounds can also give sight to the blind. After all, if bats can echolocate and "see" with sound, then why not people, too?

Amedi, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has an eye-opening approach. Using sounds which can be associated with the basic shapes of physical objects, Amedi and his Dutch colleague Peter Mejeri have effectively trained a number of congenitally blind people to "see." The patients do not "see" via the optic nerve in the eye, but use their visual cortex directly. The sounds that Amedi's new software and algorithms teach to the blind are, in effect, a new language called "soundscapes." Soundscapes could enable those blind from birth, or newly blind, to "see" who and what is in a room.
Lire l'intégralité de l'article » (Source: article de Karin Kloosterman @ ISRAEL 21c)
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