Ep 20: Sensory substitution and brain stimulation



Sensory substitution and brain stimulation

In episode 13 we talked about brain stimulation, using electrical and magnetic stimulation of the brain, without having to cut into the skull, in order to improve certain types of skills. Starting in episode 17, we talked about sensory substitution, using one sense to deliver the missing information that would normally be delivered by a missing or impaired sense. That culminated in episode 19, when I demonstrated the vOICe.

An obvious question is, can brain stimulation improve sensory substitution?

Brain stimulation has been used to treat amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye. Not all the results have been very encouraging, but here’s a paper that suggested longer term results might be possible.

Long Lasting Effects of Daily Theta Burst rTMS Sessions in the Human Amblyopic Cortex

Lastly, from the website of those who developed the vOICe, we have an article where they very briefly mention the possibility of using brain stimulation to help vOICe users better integrate the visual information that is being turned into sound. There is much more there and it’s worth the read for those interested in learning more about sensory substitution and synesthesia.

Artificial Synesthesia for Synthetic Vision via Sensory Substitution


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