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Wednesday, April 19, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Can a person who is blind from birth "see images" in their dreams?

This question has inspired volumes of medical research dating back to the 19th century. People who are visually impaired from birth appear to lack visual imagery in their dreams. It's believed that the parts of their brains that register visual information remain dormant. According to this fascinating article by Diego Kaski in the International Medical Students' Journal, even people who lose their sight early in childhood retain visual imagery in their dreams well into adulthood. However, this imagery fades over time.

Nevertheless, blind people do dream and often describe their dreams in terms of places and surroundings. An article from the University of Santa Cruz notes that blind dreams feature a "very high percentage of gustatory, olfactory, and tactual sensory references," something very unusual for sighted dreamers to experience.

For some intriguing and descriptive quotes on the subject, read Richard Catlett Wilkerson's article "Dreams of the Blind."

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