The brain is so adaptable, some researchers now think, that any of the five senses can be rewired
At a University of Wisconsin lab, occupational therapist Kathi Kamm, right, tests graduate student Carla Becker's ability to "see" while blind- folded. A video camera on Becker's forehead relays images through a laptop computer to an electric grid on her tongue. Becker's brain can then process the images.
"We don't see with our eyes," Bach-y-Rita is fond of saying. "we see with our brains." The ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and skin are just inputs that provide information. When the brain processes this data, we experience the five senses, but where the data come from may not be so important. "Clearly, there are connections to certain parts of the brain, but you can modify that," Bach-y-Rita says. "You can do so much more with a sensory organ than what Mother Nature does with it."