Jun 21, 2022

Humans Can Learn to ‘Echolocate’ in Just 10 Weeks, Experiment Shows

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Echolocation is a skill we usually associate with animals such as bats and whales, but some blind humans also use the echoes of their own sounds to detect obstacles and their outlines. Some use the tapping of a cane or the snapping of their fingers to make the necessary noise, while others use their mouths to make a clicking sound.

Despite how useful this skill can be, very few blind people are currently taught how to do it. Expert echolocators have been trying to spread t… See more.

With enough training, most humans can learn how to echolocate, using their tongue to make clicking sounds and interpreting the echoes that come back, reflected from the surrounding environment.

In as few as 10 weeks, researchers have been able to teach participants how to navigate obstacles and recognize the size and orientation of objects using the rebounding calls of their clicks.

The experiment, the results of which were published in 2021, involved 12 participants who’d been diagnosed as legally blind during their childhood, and 14 sighted people.

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