Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Will Whisking Help the Blind?
"Rats use a sense that humans don't: whisking. They move their facial whiskers back and forth about eight times a second to locate objects in their environment. Could humans acquire this sense?" That's the question asked on a Medical News Today post. "And if they can, what could understanding the process of adapting to new sensory input tell us about how humans normally sense? At the Weizmann Institute, researchers explored these questions by attaching plastic "whiskers" to the fingers of blindfolded volunteers and asking them to carry out a location task. The findings, which recently appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience, have yielded new insight into the process of sensing, and they may point to new avenues in developing aids for the blind." Read more.