Home > Philosophy > Seeing With the Tongue

Seeing With the Tongue

Ask any neuroscientist or philosopher of the mind what organ it is that we see with. They will tell you that it is not the eyes but the brain. The eyes are the medium through which the information from the external world is transferred to the brain, which then ultimately forms the visual images of our consciousness. The eyes, to be sure, play their own interpretive role, but their role is contingent. The visual areas of the brain, on the other hand, are necessary for seeing. A person who has properly functioning eyes but has a dysfunctional occipital lobe (the visual center of the brain) can be blind. It may be that other areas of the brain can theoretically take up the function of seeing in patients whose visual areas have been damaged and thus no particular area of the brain may be necessary for seeing. But the brain as a functional whole is nonetheless necessary. But the eyes are not. The eyes are but one possible medium for transferring external world information to the brain. Here is one fascinating example of an alternative medium that has remarkable implications for the future:

Seeing with the tongue.

  1. lenarivers
    03/27/2010 at 10:05 am

    hmm, that’s cool.
    we all know, though, that babies do a lot of their “seeing” with their tongue, too, right? they just don’t get those fun electrical charges unless they “taste” the right thing. lol.


    • 03/28/2010 at 7:38 pm

      Who is lenarivers and why can’t I click on it?

      • lenarivers
        03/28/2010 at 7:56 pm

        i signed it! don’t you recognize me, Johnny?! (how many heathers do you know who take time to read your blog?)

        i’m not sure why you can’t click on it, but it may have to do with the fact that it’s my username on wordpress, but i have 2 blogs.

        this is my new public blog: http://annabellechristie.wordpress.com/

  2. 03/29/2010 at 8:20 pm

    Of course I recognized you. 🙂

    But I was inquiring about your name.

    • lenarivers
      03/30/2010 at 12:37 am

      oh. well, i came up with it because it’s my grandma’s sister’s name. her dad named her after his favorite book, which was popular at the time. i always thought it’d be cool to be named after a book.

      he named my grandma after the president’s daughter: Jessica Wilson. everybody always called her Wilson, strangely. it kind of sounds funny if you’re not used to it, but it’s really cool in a young-lady-in-WWII-times sort of way.

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