Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blind Touch

Jacque Paillard says that there is a 'blind touch' (or 'Numbsense') phenomenon which is a tactile equivalent of blind sight.

One of his patients was;

"Unable to detect and to perceive any tactile stimulation delivered at various sites on her right hand when vision was prevented, this patient showed, to her own surprise, a spontaneous ability to point her left finger toward stimulated places on her deafferented right hand.
[Paillard, J.(2005) Vectorial versus configural encoding of body space. in Body Image and Body Schema (ed. Preester and Knockaer).]

This is a very important discovery. Because this phenomena suggests that there is a neural basis for the distinction between body schema and body image, as Paillard also points out.