Where does the brain read braille?

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James Muirhead

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Where does the brain read braille?
« on: 20/01/2011 06:30:07 »
James Muirhead  asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Chris,

Having read print normally until age 17 I had an excellent memory for the spelling of words and very rarely had to look at a word twice.

I lost my sight completely and learned braille in a few weeks, although I am far from a fluent reader.   What is interesting is that I am now very poor at spelling and even though I go over a word many times it simply does not stick in the memory bank.

As an extra dimension to your listener's question, I am synaesthetic , such that words and letters appear in colour, and this was very helpful when it came to anatomy in my physio course.   When, for example, I had to describe  trapezius, I would see this in my head as an orange area on the shoulder/neck/head and simply describe the picture.   I found that even after forty years of blindness, that this memory is still very strong.

Therefore, I infer, that my reading of braille is not decoded in the area where my print memories are stored, but my memory for letter and word colour coding was unaffected by my sight loss.

Excellent programme.

Regards Jim Muirhead.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 20/01/2011 06:30:07 by _system »