Guest Post via Jesse Brightman // @JesseBrightman
Artist John Bramblitt didn’t start painting until after he had lost his sight in his twenties. While his “twenty-five years of visual experience provided him with mental images of what he wanted to paint,” an activity he picked up mainly as an outlet and act of angry defiance, Bramblitt still understandably struggled with the fundamental fact he couldn’t see the canvas. As a replacement, he began using his sense of touch, a process for the blind called “cross-modal plasticity” which theorizes that the parts of the brain typically used in sight is reassigned to enhance a blind individual’s tactile abilities. Research suggests that this process can occur in as fast as 90 minutes!