A device that trains the brain to turn sounds into images could be used as an alternative to invasive treatment for blind and partially-sighted people, researchers at the University of Bath have found.
A research team, led by Dr Michael Proulx, from the University’s Department of Psychology, looked at how blindfolded sighted participants responded to an eye test using the vOICe sensory substitution device. Its performance is even better than the current invasive techniques for vision restoration, such as stem cell implants and retinal prostheses, says Dr. Proulx.
The findings are reported in the paper “How well do you see what you hear? The acuity of visual-to-auditory sensory substitution,” published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, as part of a Research Topic in Cognitive Science on synaesthesia research.
Dr. Proulx appeared on BBC Radio 5, BBC World Tonight and other radio channels to discuss his research. Many leading media outlets also featured the news, including, TIME,CBC, Sky News, Engineering & Techology magazine, Nursing Times and many more.
The paper is available to read here (open-access, of course!).