Anyone Can Learn Echolocation, Claims New Study

///Anyone Can Learn Echolocation, Claims New Study

human echolocationIs it possible to adapt to a world of darkness and orient in it better than bats in a dark cave, using echolocation to explore the world? It turns out that it is.

Blind people are able to use echolocation to “see” their environment, but even the sighted can learn this skill, claims a recent study.

Participants of the new experiment learned to use echolocation in a virtual environment – that is, to obtain information about the environment with the help of reflected sound waves from the walls. Typically, the human brain suppresses echoes, but perceives it when people use echolocation.

In contrast to previous studies of this phenomenon, this one was dedicated to the suppression of echo – the phenomenon of echo neutralization by the human brain so that the original sound can be heard more clearly. This ability is useful because otherwise the human speech would be nearly indistinguishable.

In the experiment, the sighted participants wore headphones with microphones. In the phase of “hearing” they listened to the sounds and the simulated echo through headphones, and it was necessary to distinguish the position of the sound source from the source of its echo.

In the “echolocation” phase, the participants produced the sounds themselves. Computer processor simulated echo from these sounds, and played it back to the headphones.

The sighted participants learned to determine the position of the sound reflector in the same way as they determined the position of the sound source in the first phase of the experiment.

But if people are capable of echolocation, why do not they use it all the time? “Unless you’re running around in a dark environment or with a blindfold, echolocation is simply not needed,” says neuroscientist Lore Thaler. Although the study showed that sighted people can learn this skill, blind people are usually better in it.

Maybe blind people are better attuned to the sound environment. Or, perhaps, the resources of the brain, usually used for the sight, are redirected to the hearing, says Thaler.

“However, I think this is a very interesting finding, and I want to see what results will be shown by the blind people in this experiment,” says the neuroscientist.

The following two tabs change content below.

Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.




Copyright © 2017 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.
By | 2017-01-13T21:53:40+00:00 September 6th, 2013|Categories: Human Brain, Uncommon Science|Tags: |0 Comments

Leave A Comment

Trending Articles

15 Subtle Social Cues That Give away People’s True Intentions

September 23rd, 2017|

There are some subtle social cues that speak more truth than people's words. Learn how to read them to understand people's hidden thoughts and intentions. How can you tell what a person is really thinking or saying? Do you rely on the words they use or is there another way of getting to the truth? Experts believe that the majority of what we communicate is through our body language, with around [...]

What Is a Sapiosexual and How to Find out If You Are One

July 26th, 2017|

Many people want answers to the question: What is a sapiosexual? because 'sapiosexual' isn't an everyday word. You'll find out that being one's quite desirable. This article answers the question What is a sapiosexual? and suggests how to tell if you are one. If you're looking for a life partner, you might want to know how to date one. What is a Sapiosexual? Multiple dictionaries define sapiosexuals as people who consider [...]

Anyone Can Learn Echolocation, Claims New Study