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Thank you all for your responses to my post. Colette's point is very well
taken. So -- IF we can eliminate non-auditory sources of information leaking
through the system (consciously or unconsciously) in this case, it might be
quite interesting. The patient is not 100% sure that her deafness is
cochlear in origin, and she hasn't had any scans done as yet. The patient
says that she does lipread, but that she's pretty sure this phenomenon
occurs whether she's getting visual info or not. It would be really weird if
the deafness was cochlear AND there was no non-auditory source of
information....Otherwise, as Walt and others point out, a neuropathy at a
higher stage (cortical maybe) might explain it.
I don't know much about blindsight, but from my graduate school course in
vision, what I remember is that the patients can point to the source of a
light but don't get much more sensory input than that, is this true? I also
vaguely remember that the visual saccade pathways (superior colliculus)
might be involved in blindsight....In our present case, the patient seems to
be getting a lot of information, requiring quite a bit of detail in the
If any of you would be interested in pursuing this further with the patient,
please email me for her contact info.
Happy New Year!
Department of Auditory Implants and Perception
House Ear Institute
2100 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057