Reading with your tongue

Just finished an impressive book: The Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks, in which he tells about his own loss of sight in one eye, and which kind of problems this brings about. Even more surprising, and curious is what he tells about a patient who reads with his tongue.

This man lost his reading ability, but curiously enough not his ability to write. So, he could actually write, but not read back what he had written. He could however redraw the patterns (actually the letters of words) in the air, and by the movement of his tongue, he could then decipher which letter he was writing. So in fact, he was reading with his tongue. This sounds mysterious, but indeed when he one day bit his tongue and did not have sensitivity in his tongue for a few days, he was unable to "read". Only when the tongue went back to normal did he retain his ability to "read" with his tongue.

There are also other stories, his own about the loss of 3D-vision after some 70 years, but also about a woman who did not have 3D-vision until her 50s.

The brain is a complex part of the human body!


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