Restoring Lost Functions: Seeing With the Tongue
Many disabled people live in soundless and sightless worlds. In psychological research, endeavors have been made to combine the workings of sensory systems with technical advances in bioengineering, resulting in sensory prosthetic devices that provide sensory input that can substitute for what cannot be provided by a person’s sensory receptors (Patil & Turner, 2008).
One device is Paul Bach-y-Rita’s device, which is a tactile tongue-based, electrical input sensor that converts digitized stimuli from a camera to an array of electrodes, which stimulate tactile receptors in the tongue to communicate spatial information to the brain (2004).
investigate whether the tongue is the best suitable organ to provide detailed, high-resolution input of visual stimuli. My paper will also delve into the sensory and neural mechanisms involved with Bach-y-Rita’s stimulator as a substitute for visual input through working with the tactile receptors in the tongue.
to what extent can a sensory artificial system, such as Bach-y-Rita’s device, compensate for blindness? Furthermore, is there any room for more advancement? In addition to helping the blind, can this device have other practical applications for people living with normal vision, in pitch-black, hazy or smoky environments, for example?