In Japan, people are purposely taught the sixth sense - echolocation
The Neural Network Research Center in Osaka is actively experimenting to teach people a new and uncharacteristic sense. This is echolocation, or rather, some aspects of its application. It is too early to talk about the possibility of a new full-fledged human sense, but scientists are trying to learn how to use some of its properties even now.
Earlier, in May of this year, Japanese scientists have successfully proved that almost any person can perceive reflected sound signals and thus receive information about surrounding objects. However, the accuracy of recognition left much to be desired, in addition, there was one fundamental point – the participants of the experiment remained motionless. They could completely turn to hearing and concentrate on signal processing, which is impossible in real life.
Further research showed that the primary visual cortex, located in the occipital lobe of the brain, can restructure itself for new tasks. The so-called re-profiling of neurons takes place, so that they can perceive an echo as a visual signal. This allows you to get a holistic picture, remember the difference between the signals and based on that imagine your surroundings.
Japanese scientists compare changes in the brains of test subjects and those of blind people who have independently mastered orientation in space with the help of echolocation. They hope to derive regularities in order to adjust the training program and create practical exercises that will help visually impaired people to purposefully master this technique. The first successes are already in place – participants in the program have learned to walk around a room blindly and recognize objects in it.