Tuesday, February 12, 2008

tongue-seeing & eye-listening

Lovely insight here from Daniel Levitin (Your Brain On Music):

The lowest note on a standard piano vibrates with a frequency of 27.5Hz. Interestingly, this is about the same rate of motion that constitutes an important threshold in visual perception. A sequence of still [images] displayed at this rate will give the illusion of motion.

This is particularly interesting when you consider scientific findings that suggest our senses are closer to one another than we might think. I.e. Experiments have been carried out to enable blind people to 'see' through sensory input on their tongues(!) More on tongue-seeing here.
The thinking is that our bodies evolve to sense the world around us through any means and that patterns of data between touch, sight and sound are incredibly similar.

Great case study here of a kid that developed the ability to 'see' his surroundings by clicking like a bat when he lost his eyes to cancer.

I find it exciting that Levitin's insight hints that we could have a universal threshold for sensory perception that transcends specific organs and tissue.

Not sure that all made total sense, but take from it what you will!

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