Daredevil-like ability allows us to size up rooms—even when we can’t see them
The blind comic book star Daredevil has a highly developed sense of hearing that allows him to “see” his environment with his ears. But you don’t need to be a superhero to pull a similar stunt, according to a new study. Researchers have identified the neural architecture used by the brain to turn subtle sounds into a mind’s-eye map of your surroundings.
The study appears to be “very solid work,” says Lore Thaler, a psychologist at Durham University in the United Kingdom who studies echolocation, the ability of bats and other animals to use sound to locate objects.
That office belongs to Aude Oliva, principal research scientist for MIT’s Computational Perception & Cognition laboratory. She and Teng, along with two other colleagues, wanted to quantify how well people can use sounds to judge the size of the room around them, and whether that ability could be detected in the brain.
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