Hearing Better in the Dark: Blindness fuels ability to place distant sounds

12:15pm, October 13, 2004

Whether they lose sight early or later in life, blind people estimate the location of many sounds more accurately than sighted individuals do, a new study finds. In lieu of visual cues, the blind typically learn to perceive subtle acoustic signals that help them navigate, concludes a research team led by neuroscientist Franco Lepore of the University of Montreal.

Most studies of sound localization in blind individuals have examined how accurately they can reach out and touch, with a hand or a cane, the source of a nearby tone.

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