Monday, February 24, 2014

When Hands Talk, Be Careful Where You Point

Written by Nina Raine, “Tribes” is a comic drama about that revolves around Billy, a young deaf man at odds with his intellectual and argumentative working-class family in London. Some posters feature American Sign Language, which is used in the show, and display different design approaches.

(original New York Times article by Erik Piepenburg)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Seeing Less Helps The Brain Hear More

A few days in the dark can improve an animal's hearing by triggering favorable changes in areas of the brain that process auditory information.

Patrick Kanold, a researcher at the University of Maryland and one of this study's authors, believes there may be a new way to help people with auditory processing disorders. His work builds on research showing that people who are blind from birth can often do remarkable things with their other senses.
In his study, mice that were kept in the dark had neurons with increased sound sensitivity and stronger connections for auditory information in their brains. A lack of input in the visual cortex seemed to be causing changes in the auditory cortex, which is astounding because there is no known direct anatomical connection between the two areas. It seems that the brain is less hard-wired that previously thought, remaining plastic into adulthood.

(Original article by Jon Hamilton; pictures by Rosanne Skirble)