A new study may have discovered why deaf people have enhanced vision, according to findings published in the journal Nature Neruoscience.
Those who are deaf or blind have commonly reported that their other senses are more developed, but to determine the connection between these disabilities, investigators compared two groups of cats. The team analyzed the vision of deaf cats and compared them to animals that could hear.
The results showed that the deaf cats were able to better detect movement using their peripheral vision and had improved visual localization. Because of the efficiency of the brain, the researchers concluded that the organ compensates for the disabled sense by enhancing the abilities of others.
Stephen Lombar, lead author of the study, stated that “if you’re deaf, you would benefit by seeing a car coming far off in your peripheral vision, because you can’t hear that car approaching from the side.” He added that “the same with being able to more accurately detect how fast something is moving.”
An estimated 36 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with some form of hearing loss, according to the Deafness Research Foundation.