Study Shows Blind Children Use Visual Cortex

diagram of brain

By Hillary Kleck

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University and MIT recently studied the brain activity of both blind and sighted children, some blindfolded, while they listened to different sounds including stories, music and unfamiliar languages. Findings show that blind children’s visual cortex area of the brain responds to language at an early age, and is not related to the child’s ability to read or write Braille, as previously theorized.


image of brain


The research study was originally conducted to discover how the brain, vision, hearing, and a person’s experiences affect changes in brain function (“brain plasticity”) and when these changes can take place. The research of brain plasticity is having a profound affect on the way scientists are looking at the way blind children learn and function, as well as people with brain damage. It’s exciting for parents, teachers, and therapists to learn more about how children with visual impairments can learn more appropriately, especially those with other impairments or cognitive disabilities.

Learn more about this study on the John Hopkins HUB website article, Study shows remarkable adaptability of our brain’s vision center.


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