People Deaf from Birth Have a Heightened Sense of Touch

Published on Feb, 14, 2019

Perilingual deafness is usually identified as deafness from birth that occurs before the child can speak. Hearing Foundation Canada quotes that alteast 2000 children are born deaf, in Canada.

Although there are several measures that can be taken to combat the effects of hearing loss at birth, research has also shown that there are positive aspects to losing ones hearing when young. 

Helen Neville, a lab director at the National Institute of Hearing (NIH), conducted studies that showed that children who were born deaf may be processing peripheral vision and motion better. 

The study involved the development of an unique apparatus, akin to headphones, which were worn by the subjects when under a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. Those with normal hearing tend to perceive a single flash of light paired with multiple auditory impulses as multiple flashes of light. Using the same phenomenon, the study found that the those with hearing loss at birth had developed a more attuned sense of perception for visual stimuli and tactility.

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