Center Papers

Bavelier, Dye & Hauser (2006)

Bavelier, D., Dye, M.W.G., & Hauser, P.C. (2006). Do deaf individuals see better? Trends in Cognitive Science, 10, 512-518. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

The possibility that, following early auditory deprivation, the remaining senses such as vision are enhanced has been met with much excitement. However, deaf individuals exhibit both better and worse visual skills than hearing controls. We show that, when deafness is considered to the exclusion of other confounds, enhancements in visual cognition are noted. The changes are not, however, widespread but are selective, limited, as we propose, to those aspects of vision that are attentionally demanding and would normally benefit from auditory–visual convergence. The behavioral changes are accompanied by a reorganization of multisensory areas, ranging from higher-order cortex to early cortical areas, highlighting cross-modal interactions as a fundamental feature of brain organization and cognitive processing.