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Blind People's Hearing Enhanced to Make Up for Disability, Study Finds

September 17, 1998

Canadian scientists say they have proved what most blind people have always known--that their hearing is enhanced to compensate for their lack of sight. Franco Lepore and colleagues at the University of Montreal tested blind and partially sighted people and two control groups of sighted individuals, one of which was blindfolded, to determine how they localized sounds in space.

Each person had to identify where sounds, randomly delivered from 16 electronic speakers placed in a semicircular pattern, were coming from. Lepore found that blind individuals were more accurate than blindfolded people and at least as accurate as the non-blindfolded sighted control group at locating the sounds, they reported in today's Nature.

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Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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