Page 6 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - February 2023
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6                   Blindsight: A Neurological Condition

             Blindsight: A Strange                       In another case, a man with blindsight with it. Studies have shown that naked
                                                         (let’s call him Rick) was put in front of a pictures of attractive people can draw our
           Neurological Condition                        screen and told to guess (from several attention, even when we are completely

              Could Help Explain                         options) what object was on the screen. unaware of them. Other studies have
                                                         Rick insisted that he didn’t know what demonstrated that we can correctly judge
                                                         was there and that he was just guessing, the colour of an object without any
                                                         yet he was guessing with over 90% conscious awareness of it.
                 Blindsight: A Strange                   accuracy.
           Neurological Condition Could                                                                   Blindsight Debunked?

            Help Explain Consciousness                   Into the Brain
                                                                                                          Blindsight has generated a lot of
                                                         Blindsight results from damage to an area controversy. Some philosophers and
                     by Henry Taylor                     of the brain called the primary visual psychologists have argued that people
                                                         cortex. This is one of the areas, as you with blindsight might be conscious of
                                                         might have guessed, responsible for what is in front of them after all, albeit in

        Imagine being completely blind but still         vision. Damage to primary visual cortex a vague and hard-to-describe way.
        being able to see. Does that sound               can result in blindness – sometimes total,
        impossible? Well, it happens. A few years        sometimes partial.                               This suggestion presents a difficulty,
        ago, a man (let’s call him Barry) suffered                                                        because ascertaining whether someone is
        two strokes in quick succession.  As a           So how does blindsight work? The eyes conscious of a particular thing is a
        result, Barry was completely blind, and          receive light and convert it into complicated and highly delicate task.
        he walked with a stick.                          information that is then passed into the There is no “test” for consciousness. You
                                                         brain.  This information then travels can’t put a probe or a monitor next to
        One day, some psychologists placed               through a series of pathways through the someone’s head to test whether they are

        Barry in a corridor full of obstacles like       brain to eventually end up at the primary conscious of something – it’s a totally
        boxes and chairs.  They took away his            visual cortex. For people with blindsight, private experience. []
        walking stick and told him to walk down          this area is damaged and cannot properly
        the corridor.  The result of this simple         process the information, so the
        experiment would prove dramatic for our          information never makes it to conscious
        understanding of consciousness. Barry            awareness. But the information is still
        was able to navigate around the obstacles        processed by other areas of the visual
        without tripping over a single one.              system that are intact, enabling people
                                                         with blindsight to carry out the kind of
        Barry has blindsight, an extremely rare          tasks that we see in the case of Barry and
        condition that is as paradoxical as it           Rick.

        sounds.      People      with      blindsight
        consistently deny awareness of items in          Blindsight serves as a particularly
        front of them, but they are capable of           striking     example      of     a    general
        amazing feats, which demonstrate that, in        phenomenon, which is just how much                     BEAUTIFUL MIND COFFEE
        some sense, they must be able to see             goes on in the brain below the surface of         The Coffee That Your Brain Will Love
        them.                                            consciousness. This applies just as much 
                                                         to people without blindsight as people
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