Fatima Rosario Omoso
May 31, 2012

Hearing sounds treats vision defects

Researchers from the RUB and Durham University have discovered that hearing sounds could be a new therapy for patients with one-sided visual field defects. Visual field defects occur when the area of the brain responsible for processing visual information is damaged. It most commonly affects the primary visual cortex, which can lead to a patient losing vision in an entire half of their visual field, a condition known as hemianopia. During the study, a visual test was conducted before and after an auditory stimulation in healthy participants and in participants who were blind in one side of their field of vision. Results showed that, for the participants with visual defects, detection of light stimuli in the blind half of their visual field increased after the stimulation, although this effect lasted only temporarily for 1.5 hours. The researchers concluded that the neural pathways which process information from both senses are responsible for this effect.