Some animals already have this highly developed ability. This is the case with bats and dolphins, for example. They use echolocation to navigate in the dark and find food. What about the people? Could we develop it? Some scientists did an experiment. So they looked at people … and learned to see with their ears. When does echolocation occur? When an animal makes a sound that echoes when it hits a surface. And with it, the distance to the object and its size can be calculated. That was the subject of a new study. It was carried out by the University of Durham in the UK. And it shows that we also have this sixth sense.
Stand in the dark
26 volunteers between the ages of 21 and 79 learned to see with their ears. They were both blind and without any vision problems. They trained for 10 weeks to learn how to navigate virtual mazes made up of intersections. In addition, they would identify the size and location of various objects by clicking their tongues.
At the end of the study, participants put their navigation skills back to the test. It was in a different maze. The results were amazing. Objects and walls collided less often than in the first days of the experiment.
Volunteers said it helped him improve his mobility significantly. The age of the participants did not affect their ability to learn the unusual technique.
The study was released in the trade journal PLOS ONE. The authors commented on the benefits of this learning. It would help rehabilitate those who have already lost their sight or are starting to lose their sight.
“We’re very excited. And we think it makes sense to teach click-based echolocation. It would serve those who have good eye health but are likely to lose their eyesight later. It is explained by lead author of the study, Lore Thaler.”
Scientists emphasize that not all people agree to using the technology in public places. “The use of this sound in social contexts is still stigmatized.” Makes sense. And you, would you dare?