Seeing Letters Drawn on Your Brain

The things we learn about the human brain continue to amaze me. In this recent article (Blind people could ‘see’ letters that scientists drew on their brains with electricity) is no exception. Researchers implanted electrodes on a subject’s brain’s surface and then used electrical signals to draw letters.

“…the implants were placed on the visual cortex and then stimulated in a pattern to ‘trace’ out shapes that the participants could then ‘see.'”

The experiments worked on both sighted people and people who lost their sight in adulthood.

The other interesting this about this is that the researchers had to draw letters the way our brains would normally receive the information.

…the authors drew letter shapes, such as ‘W,’ ‘S’ and ‘Z’…; the shapes had to be drawn upside-down and backwards, which is how visual information usually reaches the visual cortex from our eyes. In the end, the study participants could see the traced shapes and accurately recreate them on a touch screen. When participants in the study began seeing letters form in their minds’ eyes, ‘I think they were at least as excited as we were, probably more!‘”

This research could be used many different ways in a story.

A researcher could find this research while trying to help a patient

Or

A parent could find this research while trying to help their child

Or

A spouse could find this research while trying to help their significant other

Or

You can combine 2 of these. The researcher uses this to help her/his significant other or family member who is blind.

Or

I like to play with the idea that someone who is visually impaired could know the code without ever seeing it. Maybe the villains mess up by trying the use the code W9M6 but it’s upside down and reversed 9W6M!

Are you looking for someone to bounce ideas off of or are you already working on a script and want to know how to make your story stand out compared to all the other ones? Contact me below.

[Credit: Emilie Lorditch]
E-mail emilie@real2reelscience.com Hours M-F: 5-10pm EDT, EST Weekends: 12-5pm and other times by appointment.
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