The article about the study that found that the parts of the brain
that deal with vision and hearing in hearing and sighted persons can be
rewired in deaf-blind people has some cognitive implications. For example,
this indicates that the domain of sight and hearing can be replaced for
other useful functions. This article shows the concept of neuroplasticity.
This shows that the brain can compensate for the loss of senses. The
localized parts used for sight and hearing can still localize in other
areas. For example, the brain of a person without both sight and hearing
localizes the temporal lobe of the brain to smell or touch. The brain
finds other uses that could be useful to the person. The fact that the
part of the brain used for hearing and sight is still active shows that
there are still neurons working in these parts. It also shows that the
localization of the certain parts of the brain is not limited to sight and
hearing. This is why a deaf/sighted person's temporal lobe is localized in
performing visual tasks.
This could explain why the input and output of other senses are
heightened in people who lose one or more senses. The brain finds other
ways to represent information that is lost with the loss of sight and
hearing. For example, with a deaf-blind person, the brain heightens their
touch or smell so that they can identify things and still have a way to
experience things that people see and hear in some ways. The brain encodes
the mental representations in touch and smell instead of hearing and sight.
This is kind of like "making up" for the loss of senses.
This would be good for people who have brain injuries to be able to
function as close to normal as possible. The output and input change too.
The important concept here is neuroplasticity.
[WF: note the remarkable findings in the article that the visual areas
of the brain are active with Braille and that the speech areas are active with lip reading.]